Master Settlement Agreement

General Information

The Master Settlement Agreement (MSA)

The state of Ohio is a signatory to the agreement that was reached with various cigarette manufacturers/importers and states. This agreement is commonly known as the Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) (PDF).

In 1998, the Attorneys General of 46 states signed the MSA with tobacco companies to settle state suits to recover costs associated with treating smoking-related illnesses. (Four states -- Florida, Minnesota,Texas, and Mississippi settled their tobacco cases separately from the MSA states.)

Ohio’s participation in the MSA-mandated legislation requires manufacturers who are not signatories to the MSA to pay into an escrow account a sum roughly equivalent to that which is paid by the participating manufacturers. This legislation also requires the Department of Taxation to gather information concerning sales of cigarettes and roll-your-own tobacco into Ohio that is manufactured by non-participants to the agreement. This information will be provided to the Ohio Attorney General for use in administering the agreement.