As we recently reported, our list of PtP foundations continues to grow. Today, we are pleased to introduce you to our latest discovery: the roughly US$1 billion Truth Initiative (formerly the American Legacy Foundation) created in 1998 out of the same Master Settlement Agreement that brought an end to the litigation brought by a large collection of American states against the manufacturers of cigarettes.
Renamed the Truth Initiative in 2014, this PtP foundation grew out of the recognition that the US$246 billion in tobacco settlement funds would largely be absorbed into state treatment programs—leaving little for the preventative programs desperately needed to avoid additional nicotine addictions, especially among youth. The signatories to the agreement thus turned to the vehicle of an endowed charitable foundation as the best channel to promote the “comprehensive, coordinated program of public education and study” that it felt to be “important to further the remedial goals” of the tobacco agreement.
The result is “America’s largest nonprofit public health organization committed to making tobacco use a thing of the past.” Thanks in important part to this PtP foundation’s efforts, youth smoking rates in the U.S. have dropped from 23% in 2000 to under 4% today.
Recognition of the existence of this PtP foundation arising from the tobacco settlement is not only important in and of itself. It also reinforces the advantages that application of the PtP concept could bring to the settlement of the currently pending massive opioid litigation in the United States, as well as to other penalty settlements in the U.S. and around the world.
For further information on the PtP transaction that led to the formation of the Truth Initiative, please see our 2-page foundation profile.