Arkansas Tobacco Settlement Proceeds Act of 2000: Results from Education and Engagement with Policy Makers and the Public

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Abstract

The 1998 Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) resulted in a singular and unanticipated revenue stream flowing to state governments from U.S. tobacco companies. In response, public health leaders were challenged with an opportunity to secure funding for much needed health programs. However, state leaders have chosen to utilize these new funds for a wide variety of purposes; in many instances, expenditures totally unrelated to health or health care. In contrast, Arkansas is unique among all states in choosing to utilize MSA funds solely to establish new health-related programs. Examination of the educational and developmental process through which Arkansas designed its expenditure plan, secured political support, and initiated new health programs in a time of budgetary constraints will inform public health officials to more effectively engage policy makers at local, state, and federal levels.

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