On November 23, 1998, the State of Maryland and 45 other states, the District of Columbia, and five United States Territories entered into the
Master Settlement Agreement ("MSA") with certain tobacco product manufacturers. Under the MSA, the manufacturers agreed to abide by extensive public health restrictions on the advertising, promotion, and marketing of cigarettes and compensate the states to offset costs arising from health problems associated with the use of their products.
Reducing youth access to tobacco products in Maryland has been an important initiative of the Attorney General's office. Preventing kids from starting to smoke will keep them smoke free as adults is among the reasons the Attorney General's Office filed suit in 1996 against the tobacco companies and recommended Maryland join the historic settlement in 1998. From retail and online stings to agreements with national retailers regarding best selling practices, the Attorney General has made the reduction of youth access to tobacco products a major priority.
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