1994: The crucial year when the tobacco companies accepted they were losing: internal documents being exposed to public scrutiny. Hillary Clinton's health task-force focused on tobacco; the Waxman hearings and whistleblowers exposed them: class action suits were filed against the cigarette companies.
1994 Mar: Florida judge Robert P Kaye was over-ruled by his state appeal court. He was forced to allow 60,000 flight attendants to jointly sue US tobacco companies for health difficulties they claim were caused by inhaling passengers' cigarette smoke. (This was the first class-action against tobacco.) 
1994 Apr 18 Time Magazine asks "Is it all over for Smokers: The battle against tobacco is turning into a rout." Joycelyn Elders, Surgeon General, says:
1994 May 23: Mike Moore, the Attorney-General of Mississippi, filed suit against the tobacco companies to recover medical costs for tobacco-related illnesses.
The tobacco companies were anxious to get the federal law passed before the Mississippi case came to trial - further negotiations were now done on a state by state basis. So they settled Mississippi, then later Florida and Texas. A dozen other States lined up, and this formed the basis for Minnesota settlement.
1994 Aug 19: Hubert H Humphrey III, the Attorney-General of Minnesota also acted. The Minnesota court set a cut-off date: documents produced before this time must be produced by Philip Morris and placed in a public Depository in Minnesota . (They became generally available after the Master Settlement Agreement in1996)