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Attorney General Lockyer Marks One Year Anniversary of Tobacco Settlement

Tuesday, November 30, 1999
Contact: (415) 703-5837

(San Francisco) – Attorney General Bill Lockyer today issued the following statement regarding the one year anniversary of the national tobacco settlement:

"One year after the landmark multi-state tobacco settlement, California has assumed a leadership role in making sure the agreement delivers on its promises. Within the next few months California will receive the first annual installment payment on the agreement, which is expected to generate $25 billion over the next 25 years, with additional payments in perpetuity. The agreement has also placed tough new restrictions on tobacco company marketing and advertising practices, including a ban on marketing that targets kids. I am committed to strict enforcement of the settlement terms because dealing with ‘Big Tobacco' requires a ‘Big State' response. My office has established and will maintain the first and only full-time, fully staffed state tobacco enforcement division in the nation. In addition, we have created a consumer complaint line for Californians to report suspected violations of the law. I encourage Californians to use it by calling, (916) 565-6486. Californians now have a fighting chance to save current and future generations from tobacco addiction, disease and premature death.

(See attached fact sheet about the Master Settlement Agreement)

Master Settlement Agreement Fact Sheet

The MSA imposes major restrictions on tobacco company marketing practices and prohibits advertising aimed at kids. The MSA provides the following restrictions on tobacco companies:

* Prohibits direct or indirect targeting of youth in advertising, marketing and promotions.
* Prohibits brand name sponsorship of concerts, sports events, events with an intended audience having a significant percentage of youth and events with paid participants who are youth.
* Prohibits access by youth to free samples of tobacco products.
* Prohibits payments for placement of tobacco products in the media.
* Prohibits outdoor advertising of tobacco products.
* Prohibits transit ads, on or in public or private vehicles.
* Prohibits using cartoons to advertise tobacco products.
* Prohibits tobacco brand-name merchandise.

Under the terms of the MSA, California will receive approximately $1 billion per year. The first payment, expected in mid-December, will be approximately $316 million. Subsequent payments are expected in January and April of 2000. The payments will be split evenly between the state and local governments.

The Attorney General's Office represented the State of California in the tobacco litigation and settlement and maintains staff and resources dedicated to enforcing the terms of the Master Settlement Agreement. Components of the enforcement program include:

* Attorney General's Tobacco Litigation Unit which operates a phone line for obtaining information about the MSA or reporting suspected abuses at : (916) 565-6486. Inquiries may also be directed to the Tobacco Litigation Section at P.O. Box 944255, Sacramento, CA 94244-2550.
* Two brochures that outline the restrictions imposed by the MSA on the tobacco industry. One brochure focuses on the youth marketing restrictions and the other on brand name sponsorship restrictions. Copies of both brochures are being distributed to tobacco control programs and school districts throughout California.

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