States Want Tobacco Money

Montgomery, AL – Attorney General Bill Pryor has joined attorneys general from 13 other states in seeking payment from the national tobacco settlement. Three cigarette companies -- R-J Reynolds Tobacco, Lorillard and Brown and Williamson -- did not make their scheduled payments last month. The payments are worth about 51 million dollars. The companies say they will place their quarterly payments in escrow accounts until the end of the year. They hope congress will pass tobacco buyout legislation and wipe out most of their obligations to the states. If that does not happen, the companies say they will release the money.