Regional
10:27 am
Tue November 1, 2011

Tobacco Payments Declining For NM

New Mexico – SANTA FE, N.M. (KRWG) Big Tobacco's payments to New Mexico for smoking-related deaths are declining.

The Las Cruces Sun-News (http://bit.ly/v7nvnX) reports that state economist Elisa Walker-Moran said New Mexico expects to receive $38.6 million from tobacco companies this year. That is down from $40.9 million in 2010.

Walker-Moran also projected that the amount of revenue from the tobacco settlement will be flat in the next few years.

Walker-Moran told a legislative committee that one reason for the decline is that tobacco companies subject to the agreement are losing market share.

But state Rep. Gail Chasey said lower payments were another example of how tobacco companies had maneuvered a mass settlement to their advantage.

She said tobacco companies that settled lawsuits with New Mexico and 45 other states are just taking advantage of market changes.

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Information from: Las Cruces Sun-News, http://www.lcsun-news.com

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. KRWG