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Master Settlement Agreement

Master Settlement Agreement

It is the policy of every State in the United States that the costs related to health care costs associated with cigarette smoking be paid for by the Manufacturers of those cigarette products.


In 1998, the five largest cigarette manufacturers (Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corporation, Lorillard Tobacco Company, Philip Morris Incorporated, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, Commonwealth Tobacco, and Liggett & Myers) signed an agreement with 46 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands, and Guam called the Master Settlement Agreement (Texas, Florida, Minnesota, and Mississippi had previously settled with the manufacturers). This agreement releases these Manufacturers of claims against them while obligating them to make payments to each State. These payment amounts are in part tied to the sales volume of the manufacturers products. These manufacturers are called Participating Manufacturers. The manufacturers who signed this agreement at a later date are called Subsequent Participating Manufacturers. The manufacturers who did not sign this agreement are called Non-Participating Manufacturers. These Non-participating Manufacturers are also required to submit funds into a separate escrow account created for each state's benefit for potential payments related to each state's health care costs associated with cigarette smoking.


Smokin Joes® is a non-participating manufacturer compliant in all 46 states and the District of Columbia. Smokin Joes® does not currently sell cigarettes in Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands, or Guam.