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Master Settlement Agreement Fact Sheet

The Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) imposes major restrictions on tobacco company marketing practices and prohibits advertising aimed at kids. The MSA provides the following restrictions on tobacco companies:

  • Prohibits direct or indirect targeting of youth in advertising, marketing and promotions.
  • Prohibits brand name sponsorship of concerts, sports events, events with an intended audience having a significant percentage of youth and events with paid participants who are youth.
  • Prohibits access by youth to free samples of tobacco products.
  • Prohibits payments for placement of tobacco products in the media.
  • Prohibits outdoor advertising of tobacco products.
  • Prohibits transit ads, on or in public or private vehicles.
  • Prohibits using cartoons to advertise tobacco products.
  • Prohibits tobacco brand-name merchandise.

Under the terms of the MSA, California will receive approximately $1 billion per year. The first two initial payments to the state were received in December and totaled over $589 million. Subsequent initial payments are expected in January of 2001, 2002 and 2003. The tobacco companies will make their first annual payment to the state in April 2000. The payments will be split evenly between the state and local governments.

The Attorney General's Office represented the State of California in the tobacco litigation. The Office of the Attorney General has established the first, full-time state tobacco enforcement unit in the country and provided consumers with a complaint line, 916-565-6486, for reporting suspected violations of the agreement. Additionally, two brochures that outline the restrictions imposed by the MSA on the tobacco industry have been developed by the Attorney General's office and have been distributed to tobacco control programs and school districts throughout California. Inquiries and reports of suspected violations can also be mailed to the:

Tobacco Litigation Section
P.O. Box 944255
Sacramento, CA 94244-2550.

Tobacco Settlement Funds by County

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