Lawton Chiles

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This article is part of the Tobacco portal on Sourcewatch funded from 2006 - 2009 by the American Legacy Foundation.

Lawton M. Chiles was a Former Governor of Florida who was notable for filing one of the early state Medicaid lawsuits against the tobacco industry.

Governor Lawton Chiles


In February 1995 Governor Chiles ordered the state of Florida to file suit against the major American tobacco companies. The lawsuit sought to recover the billions of dollars Florida had spent treating Medicaid patients who suffered from smoking-related illnesses, to protect children from tobacco company marketing; and to force the tobacco industry to tell the truth about their products.

On August 25, 1997, the tobacco industry agreed to settle Florida's lawsuit and pay the state $11.3 million over the next 25 years. The industry also agreed in the settlemnt to remove billboards and transit advertisements from the state and to fund a $2OO million, youth-targeted anti-smoking media campaign. Florida’s anti-tobacco campaign, dubbed "Truth", was an aggressive and highly effective advertising and marketing effort aimed at, and designed by, Florida teens. Eventually, after Chiles left office and died, the state legislature de-funded the Truth campaign.

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