The Master Settlement Agreement
In 1998, the Attorneys General of 46 states signed the Master Settlement Agreement (“MSA”) with the four largest tobacco companies in the United States: Brown & Williamson, Lorillard, Philip Morris, and R.J. Reynolds, the “Original Participating Manufacturers.” The MSA and related documents can be found at the National Association of Attorneys General website, http://www.naag.org/tobacco.php.
The MSA settled lawsuits by the states to recover costs associated with the treatment of smoking-related illnesses. Four states – Florida, Minnesota, Texas, and Mississippi – settled their tobacco cases separately from the MSA states. The MSA authorizes other tobacco product manufacturers to participate in the Agreement, and since November 1998, over forty additional tobacco companies have joined the MSA.
The MSA imposes restrictions on the advertising, promotion, and marketing or packaging of cigarettes, including a ban on “targeting youth,” and requires the participating manufacturers to make payments to the MSA states on or before April 15th of each year.
A “Participating Manufacturer” is any Tobacco Product Manufacturer that is a signatory to the MSA. There are two types of PMs: “Original Participating Manufacturers,” who signed onto the MSA on November 23, 1998, and “Subsequent Participating Manufacturers,” who signed onto the MSA sometime after November 23, 1998.
Since 1998, approximately 41 additional tobacco companies have joined the MSA as “Subsequent Participating Manufacturers.”
A “Non Participating Manufacturer” is any tobacco product manufacturer who is not a Participating Manufacturer.
In 1999, the Nevada Legislature approved two bills which determine how the tobacco settlement proceeds are distributed. Pursuant to the mandates set forth by the Nevada Legislature, approximately 60% of Nevada’s annual MSA payment goes toward health care programs, and 40% funds Nevada’s Millennium Scholarship Program. NRS 396.926 and 439.620 and The Nevada State Treasurer is charged with administering the annual MSA payments.