The state of Maryland was one of 46 states, five territories and the District of Columbia to benefit from the 1999 multi-state lawsuit against the cigarette manufacturers. Subsequently, in the summer of 1999, the Maryland General Assembly announced a 10-year, $1 billion comprehensive plan to use tobacco settlement funds to conquer cancer. Named the Maryland Cigarette Restitution Fund Program, these monies are targeted toward cancer research, prevention and care, smoking prevention and cessation programs, substance abuse programs, tobacco farmers' crop conversion and health care for those without adequate insurance coverage.
The University of Maryland Medical Group, which consists of the University of Maryland Baltimore, the University of Maryland School of Medicine and the University of Maryland Medical System, is partnering with the state to create and implement a comprehensive plan aimed at helping to reduce Maryland's mortality rate from cancer and other tobacco-related diseases.
Highlights of the University of Maryland Medical Group plan for fiscal year 2004:
The Cigarette Restitution Fund Program has provided funds for the development of key infrastructure and facilities to support research aimed at significantly improving cancer diagnosis, treatment and care. For example:
Through the above initiatives and with continued funding, the University of Maryland Medical Group is committed to making a real difference in the lives of Marylanders with cancer and other tobacco-related diseases.