Master Settlement Agreement Restrictions on Tobacco Manufacturers

Section III of both the Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) and Smokeless Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement (STMSA) restricts marketing and other activities by participating manufacturers.  It:

  • Bans direct and indirect targeting of youth in advertising, marketing and promotion of tobacco products;
  • Bans the use of cartoon characters in advertising, promotions and marketing;
  • Restricts sponsorships by brand names

            - Limits each company to a single brand name sponsorship in a 12-month period
            - Prohibits sponsorship of events with significant youth audiences;
            - Prohibits sponsorship of team sports

  • Prohibits billboards and other outdoor advertising, but allows signs up to 14-squarefeet where tobacco is sold;
  • Bans payments for product placement of branded cigarettes and tobacco products in entertainment media;
  • Bans distribution of brand name merchandise; e.g., t-shirts, caps, backpacks, except in limited circumstances;
  • Bans distribution of free samples except in Adult-Only Facilities or to consenting adults for product testing or evaluation;
  • Bans gifts to youth in return for proofs of purchase;
  • Prohibits allowing third parties to use tobacco brand names;
  • Bans lobbying against certain kinds of tobacco control legislation;
  • Bans agreements between tobacco companies to suppress health-related research and product development; and
  • Bans material misrepresentations regarding the health consequences of using tobacco products.

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