Saud Anwar

State Senator

Saud Anwar

Deputy President Pro Tempore

Working For You

June 5, 2023


Today, State Senator Saud Anwar (D-South Windsor), Senate Chair of the Public Health Committee, led the State Senate’s final passage of legislation that will ensure settlement funds received by the state from tobacco and opioid companies are properly invested and transparently tracked. The bill further updates and improves standards for the Tobacco and Health Trust Fund, among other changes.

“As our state receives settlement funding from companies that have profited by selling tobacco and opioids that have harmed public health, we need to ensure those funds are not wasted and can be used for good,” said Sen. Anwar. “That’s what this legislation does. It will require the state’s settlement funds from JUUL to be dispersed to fund programs aimed at youth audiences to prevent and stop smoking and vaping. It also requires the state to report on use of JUUL settlement funds and requires towns and cities to report how they use opioid settlement funds. This increased transparency will play a strong role toward benefitting public health in Connecticut.”

House Bill 6914, “An Act Concerning The Use of Funds in the Opioid and Tobacco Settlement Funds and Funds Received By The State As Part Of Any Settlement Agreement With A Manufacturer Of Electronic Nicotine Delivery System and Vapor Products,” requires the amount of JUUL settlement funds received in a prior fiscal year to fund specified Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services programs targeting audiences under 21; requires the DMHAS commissioner to annually report on how JUUL settlements are dispersed and spent; and that municipalities receiving opioid settlement funds directly from settlement administrators must annually report to the Opioid Settlement Advisory Committee until funds are expended.

The bill further updates the Tobacco and Health Trust Fund’s statutory purposes for fund disbursements and requires funding be directed to programs using evidence-based best practices, among other changes.

Department of Public Health Commissioner Manisha Juthani in March testified in favor of this legislation. “Given the drastic toll JUUL products have taken on the health of our communities, and especially our young people, the funds should be distributed in a way that is representative of the populations that have been harmed the most by these products,” she said. “We believe that the Tobacco Health Trust Fund advisory board is best suited to address the respective needs of these populations.”

With its passage today, the bill now heads to the Governor’s office to be signed into law; it previously passed the House in April.