After many years of intense national debate, the major issues regarding cigarette marketing and underage smoking have been comprehensively addressed through a Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) signed Nov. 23, 1998, by the major U.S. tobacco companies and 46 states and a number of U.S. territories. The provisions of that settlement were similar to those in individual settlements previously reached with the other four states (Florida, Minnesota, Mississippi and Texas).
The MSA prohibits taking "... any action, directly or indirectly, to target Youth ... in the advertising, promotion or marketing of Tobacco Products, or ... any action the primary purpose of which is to initiate, maintain or increase the incidence of Youth smoking .... "
In addition, the MSA profoundly and permanently changed the way R.J. Reynolds and other cigarette manufacturers can market, advertise and promote our cigarette brands and our industry. It mandates total bans on certain activities and new, severe restrictions on many others.
For example, it specifically bans:
The MSA limits tobacco sponsorships to one per year and prohibits:
With respect to any brand-name sponsorship allowed by the MSA:
The MSA requires that:
The MSA disbanded the Tobacco Institute, the Council for Tobacco Research and the Council for Indoor Air Research, and provides for regulation and oversight of any new trade organizations. In addition, the MSA restricts participating manufacturers from:
Over a 25-year period, the states will receive up to $246 billion from tobacco companies through the MSA and four other individual state settlements that can be used to support anti-smoking efforts. Future annual payments, based upon inflation and cigarette sales, will continue in perpetuity. The MSA provides industry funding specifically earmarked for anti-youth-smoking education programs and a national health research foundation. As part of the $246 billion MSA, the participating tobacco companies agreed to:
Compliance with the marketing rules and restrictions, as well as all other aspects of the MSA and the four other individual state settlements, is enforced by a court in each state and by each state's attorney general. Failure to comply with these rules and restrictions can result in broad, court-ordered injunctions and civil penalties. For more information, review the full text of the Master Settlement Agreement.
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