States agree $206bn tobacco deal

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The Independent Online
A $206bn US government deal with the tobacco industry to treat smoking-related illnesses and curb youth smoking has been endorsed by all eligible states. The tobacco companies participating in the arrangement, including Philip Morris, RJR Reynolds and Brown and Williamson - part of BAT - have said they will sign the deal. The Washington State Attorney General, Christine Gregoire, said the deal would be finalised on Monday.

The tobacco industry's settlement of lawsuits with all states is expected to spur a series of big corporate moves that could fundamentally change the US tobacco industry. Moments after the announcement that all 50 states were supporting the settlement, Philip Morris said it would pay $300m for three cigarette brands from Brooke Group - the first of several expected moves, analysts say.

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