Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) Guide

Signed in 1998 between participating tobacco manufacturers and participating states exempts the tobacco manufacturers from tort liability from state governments in exchange the companies agreed to cut back on certain tobacco marketing practices, as well as to pay various annual payments to the states for their tobacco-related health-care costs.

Original Participating Manufacturer (OPM)

A tobacco manufacturer who agreed and signed the Master Settlement Agreement with the states. The original signatories to the Master Settlement Agreement were Brown & Williamson Tobacco, Lorillard, Philip Morris, and R.J. Reynolds and other tobacco manufacturers.

Non-Participating Manufacturer (NPM)

A tobacco manufacturer who did not participate in the Master Settlement Agreement. NPMs place a specified amount of funds into a qualified escrow account for each year they sell cigarettes into a state.

Subsequent Participating Manufacturer (SPM)

A tobacco manufacturer who signed the MSA agreement but was not one of the original participants of the Master Settlement Agreement.

Most states publish on their websites the names of cigarettes manufacturers who are NMP and require distributors to file a tax return schedule list all NMP brands sales. Some states also list cigarettes manufacturers whose brands are not allowed to be sold in these states.