Master Settlement Agreement Made in 1998

The Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) made in 1998 was a landmark agreement between the tobacco industry and the state attorneys general that changed the landscape of tobacco control in the United States.

The MSA was the result of lawsuits filed by 46 states against major tobacco companies in the mid-1990s. The lawsuits alleged that tobacco companies had engaged in a decades-long campaign of deception and malfeasance in promoting their products, and sought to hold the companies accountable for the public health costs associated with tobacco use.

Under the terms of the MSA, the tobacco companies agreed to make significant payments to the states over a period of years, totaling over $200 billion. The payments were intended to offset the costs of treating smoking-related illnesses, as well as to fund anti-smoking initiatives and other public health programs.

In addition to the financial settlement, the MSA included a number of provisions aimed at curbing tobacco use and reducing the influence of tobacco companies on public policy. These included restrictions on marketing practices such as outdoor advertising and product placement in films, as well as requirements for disclosure of industry documents and research.

Overall, the MSA represented a major victory for public health advocates and a turning point in the fight against tobacco use in the United States. While cigarette smoking rates have continued to decline in the years since the agreement was signed, tobacco use remains a major public health issue, and ongoing efforts are needed to prevent and reduce smoking-related illnesses and deaths.

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