Master Settlement Agreement


Under the Master Settlement Agreement, seven tobacco companies agreed to change the way they market tobacco products and to pay the states an estimated $206 billion. The tobacco companies also agreed to finance a $1.5 billion anti-smoking campaign, open previously secret industry documents, and disband industry trade groups which Attorneys General maintain conspired to conceal damaging research from the public.

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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 youth. The MSA restricts the participating tobacco companies in the following ways:

  • 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.

The Attorney General represented the State of California in the tobacco litigation. The Attorney General 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 MSA. Inquiries and reports of suspected violations can also be mailed to the:

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

Settlement Payments to Counties and Cities

Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement Payments to Counties and Cities 1999-2023, pdf

Smokeless Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement

The Smokeless Master Settlement Agreement details the financial settlement and restrictions smokeless tobacco products, including chewing tobacco.

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