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Tobacco Industry, States To Meet

December 18, 1998

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) _ Tobacco company representatives will meet privately Friday with leaders from the nation’s major tobacco-producing states to discuss how to help growers affected by the $206 billion tobacco settlement.

J. Phil Carlton, who represents Phillip Morris Co., R.J. Reynolds Tobacco, Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp. and Lorillard Tobacco Co., arranged the meeting with representatives from six tobacco-growing states _ North Carolina, Georgia, Kentucky, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.

The national tobacco settlement signed Nov. 23 between the tobacco companies and 46 states stipulated that the two sides meet within 30 days to address the concerns of the growers, who were not included in the deal.

Under the agreement, the companies agreed to pay the states $206 billion over 25 years for smoking-related health-care costs in exchange for the states dropping their lawsuits against the industry.

The National Tobacco Growers Association had said growers would need $12 billion in compensation from the cigarette companies, but Carlton rejected that proposal.

Cigarette-makers earlier this month discussed creating of a $5 billion trust fund for tobacco growers and those who own government licenses to grow tobacco each year. But R.J. Reynolds said it wouldn’t contribute; it said it would buy more tobacco instead.

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