On June 20, 1997 a group of attorneys and health advocates proposed a "global settlement" of all public and private litigation against the tobacco industry. This agreement was controversial, and the subsequent implementing legislation was defeated. We sought to determine whether the global settlement represented a "missed opportunity" or a dead end. We compared the global settlement with subsequent laws, regulations, settlements, and judgments against the tobacco industry and found that other than Food and Drug Administration regulation of tobacco, tobacco control advocates have achieved many of the policies included in the global settlement and several beyond it. The policies that have been developed since 1997 have advanced tobacco control substantially, often beyond the provisions of the global settlement.