Facing an increase in tobacco taxes from the looming SCHIP bill, General Tobacco (GT) said it has made an advance payment deposit of $10 million to the Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) that is due April 15th, 2009. The payment comes as part of its commitment to the multi-state agreement by tobacco companies setting forth strict guidelines for tobacco marketing and advertising.
GT must make quarterly deposits in advance of its yearly payments as part of its agreement with the states that entered the MSA. As of today, GT has deposited $9 million on July 15th, 2008; $27 million on October 15, 2009 plus today’s $10 million, demonstrating its commitment to fulfilling its April 15, 2009 payment in a timely manner.
“General Tobacco’s participation and payments to the MSA showcase our commitment to the MSA’s marketing restrictions and policies governing the reduction of youth smoking,” said J. Ronald Denman, executive vice president of General Tobacco. Since joining in 2004, GT has contributed more than $473 million to the MSA. “In these tough economic times, GT’s dedicated employees and loyal customers are showing their commitment to keep GT strong as a viable and competitive force in the marketplace, Denman said.
The MSA is a comprehensive accord formed in 1998 with the Attorneys General of 46 states and five territories that has fundamentally changed how tobacco is marketed, advertised and promoted. GT voluntarily joined the MSA in 2004 to support their mission of improving public health and reducing youth smoking. GT’s voluntary participation demonstrates the company’s commitment to fully comply with the marketing and advertising restrictions addressed in the MSA.