Texas Secures Unanimous Victory in Texas Supreme Court

Published 11:06 am Friday, April 1, 2016

Press Release —

Producers of tobacco products will continue to pay Texas for health care costs

 AUSTIN – Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton today lauded Texas’ unanimous victory in the Texas Supreme Court over tobacco producers who challenged a state tobacco fee imposed to cover health care costs from smoking.

“Tobacco producers who have not taken responsibility for the ill-health effects of their products must not enjoy a competitive advantage over producers who do,” said Attorney General Paxton. “Today’s ruling ensures that certain tobacco companies will be unable to market cheaper products to younger audiences by avoiding the fees other companies are voluntarily paying, and the marketing restrictions they have agreed to.”

In the 1990s, Texas individually settled a lawsuit against several of the largest tobacco companies over smoking-related costs, and that settlement requires those manufacturers to make annual payments of roughly $500 million to the state. In 2013, Texas passed HB 3536, which placed a fee on cigarettes sold by manufacturers that had not been a part of the settlement, prompting those companies to file suit.

 To view a copy of the ruling, please visit: http://www.txcourts.gov/media/1337807/140747.pdf.