October 1, 1996 in Nation/World

Utah Lawsuit Names Tobacco Companies

Compiled From Wire Services

Utah sued the major tobacco companies on Monday, becoming the 17th state to try to recover the millions of dollars spent on Medicaid bills for citizens suffering from smoking-related illnesses.

The lawsuit seeks to enjoin the tobacco companies, including giants R.J. Reynolds, Philip Morris USA, the American Tobacco Co., Brown & Williamson and others, from targeting Utah’s children.

It also claims the companies hid from the public harmful and addictive qualities of nicotine.

In the past three years in Utah, health costs from tobacco-related illnesses are estimated to have exceeded $128 million, said state Department of Health attorney Doug Springmeyer.

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