The comparison was also made between tobacco industry groups Tobacco Institute, the Center for Indoor Air Research and the Council for Tobacco Research. Within the MSA, the initially participating manufacturers (OPMs) agreed to pay at least $US 206 billion over the first 25 years of the agreement. Another criticism is the alleged preference of large tobacco groups over small independent tobacco producers and sellers. Proponents of this argument argue that some price restrictions make it harder for small producers to compete with big tobacco. Twelve states have successfully fought this argument in court over the past two years, and the application of the MSA will continue forever throughout the United States. [Citation required] The Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) is an agreement reached in November 1998 between the attorneys general of 46 states and five U.S. states. Territories, the District of Columbia and the four largest cigarette manufacturers in America in terms of cigarette advertising, marketing and promotion. In addition to the tobacco industry`s commitment to pay billions of dollars forever to states that have settled, the MSA has also imposed restrictions on the sale and marketing of cigarettes by participating tobacco companies. The addition of the following participating producers meant that almost all tobacco companies in the domestic market had signed the multi-state settlement agreement.
Their addition was important. The majors feared that any tobacco company excluded from a transaction (non-participating manufacturers or NPMs) would be free to increase market share or enter the market with lower prices, which would radically alter the future profits of the majors and their ability to raise prices to pay for the comparison. While the bill was debated in Congress, some states began to settle their disputes against the tobacco industry. On July 2, 1997, Mississippi became the first. Over the next year, Florida, Texas and Minnesota followed, with a total of more than $35 billion reimbursed by the four states. At the time of the entry into force of the Master Settlement Agreement, the OPMs together controlled about 97% of the domestic cigarette market. In addition to these “Initial Settlement Parties” (OSPS), the Master Settlement Agreement allows other tobacco companies to join the comparison; A list of these “parties that settle a posteriori” (SSPs) is maintained by the National Association of Attorneys General.  Since 1998, approximately 41 other tobacco companies have joined the Master Settlement Agreement. These companies, referred to as the Future Participating Producers (SPH), are subject to the restrictions of the Master Settlement Agreement and must make payments to the Member States of settlement, in accordance with the Master Settlement Agreement. Together, MPOs and PMS are designated as Participating Producers (SMPs). Any tobacco company that decides not to participate in the Master Settlement Agreement is designated as a non-participating manufacturer (NPM). .