A complex performance: the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement. A chapter by Joelle Lester and Kerry Cork that describes the historical context of the 1998 Tobacco Settlement Agreement (MSA) and assesses its impact. Looking Back to Move Forward: Resolving Health & Environmental Crises (Environmental Law Institute, 2020). For 40 years, tobacco companies have not been held responsible for cigarette-related diseases. Then, starting in 1994, led by Florida, states across the country pursued big tobacco to recoup public spending on smoking-related medical expenses. By changing the law to ensure they would win in court, states are extorting a quarter-trillion-dollar deal, which has tricked down to a higher price of cigarettes. In fact, the tobacco companies had money; States and their lawyers wanted money; So companies paid and states collected. Then the sick smokers got stuck with the bill.  If you see an advertisement stating that anyone can sign up and receive monthly payments from MSA, please note that there are no such payments. Our lawyers cannot help you sign up for MSA payments because the MSA does not make payments to individuals.
Please read this blog post (link above) for more information. Other data sources were newspaper articles, 10K company reports submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), market share data from the Maxwell Report (Tobacco Reporter), policy reports from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (Exports) and the Federal Trade Commission (advertising), and verification of magazine articles. Based on 10K ratio data, we estimated profit and revenue in 2002 for the national tobacco segment of Philip Morris and RJ Reynolds. Since Lorillard and Liggett have no significant overseas operations, we used financial data from the entire tobacco segment. We were unable to analyse revenue and profits for Brown & Williamson, as the parent company, British American Tobacco, did not report 10K. On November 23, 1998, Philip Morris, RJ Reynolds, Lorillard (Loews Unit) and Brown & Williamson (U.S. subsidiary of British American Tobacco) and 46 Attorneys General signed a $206 billion agreement, known as the Master Settlement Agreement (MSA). A fifth company, Liggett (a unit of the Vector Group), eventually signed the MSA. Fellows at the Cato Institute, such as Robert Levy, say the complaint that reported the tobacco comparison was triggered by the need to make payments to Medicaid recipients. Following the passage of laws that removed tobacco companies` ability to present evidence of their defence in court, tobacco companies were forced to reach an agreement.
The big four tobacco companies agreed to pay several billion dollars to state governments, but the government in turn had to protect the big four tobacco companies from competition. According to them, the Master Settlement Agreement created an unconstitutional unconstitutional agreement that benefited both the government and the large tobacco group.