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Smoking is the number one cause of preventable death in the United States: more than 400,000 deaths every year can be attributed to smoking, through lung cancer and other diseases. The tobacco control laws of the Commonwealth and the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement between cigarette companies and Massachusetts are intended to help protect the public health and to protect children from tobacco addiction. The Attorney General's Office is committed to the effective enforcement of the tobacco control laws and the Master Settlement Agreement.
The Attorney General works closely with the Massachusetts Tobacco Control Program (MTCP) , an office of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. In addition, local tobacco control programs enforce local bylaws and ordinances that deal with smoking and health. Information about these local programs can be obtained through the website.
The following federal agencies also provide important information about smoking, health, and tobacco regulation:
The Center for Tobacco Products at the Food and Drug Administration
In 1995, the Attorney General brought a lawsuit against major cigarette manufacturers to stop deceptive cigarette marketing practices; to require cigarette companies to disclose research concerning smoking, health, and nicotine addiction; to fund public education and smoking cessation programs; and to recover the significant costs incurred by the Commonwealth due to smoking-related diseases.
In November 1998, the Attorney General and the attorneys general of 51 other states and territories entered into a landmark settlement of this litigation ("the Master Settlement Agreement file size 5MB "). Among many other things, and subject to certain exceptions, the Master Settlement Agreement file size 5MB :
The Attorney General and the attorneys general of other states are taking steps to enforce the terms of the Master Settlement Agreement file size 5MB and to encourage other tobacco companies to join in the settlement.
A complete list of the manufacturers that have joined the Master Settlement Agreement can be found at the National Association of Attorneys General website.
The Office of the Attorney General has issued two sets of regulations under its consumer protection authority (M.G.L. c. 93A) to address the way that cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, electronic smoking devices (also known as e-cigarettes), and cigars are sold in Massachusetts. In particular, the regulations are intended to prevent access to these products by minors.
The sale and distribution of cigarettes, smokeless tobacco products, and electronic smoking devices are governed by the regulations at 940 CMR 21.00 .
The sale and distribution of cigars are governed by the regulations at 940 CMR 22.00 .
Among other things, the regulations REQUIRE:
In addition, among other things, the regulations PROHIBIT:
Cigarette Manufacturer Enforcement
Chapter 94E of the Massachusetts General Laws requires cigarette manufacturers that do not enter into the Master Settlement Agreement (Non-Participating Manufacturers, or NPMs) to make deposits into a qualified escrow account each year, based on their sales in Massachusetts during the previous year. Money in the escrow account is held to pay settlements or judgments against those companies on claims brought by the Commonwealth.
The Attorney General has brought civil enforcement actions against cigarette companies that have failed to comply with the escrow statute. In addition, pursuant to regulations at 830 CMR 94E.1.1, the Department of Revenue has stopped the sale of non-compliant NPM cigarettes by prohibiting its authorized stampers from placing the Massachusetts excise stamp on those cigarettes.
Chapter 94F of the Massachusetts General Laws was enacted in May 2004. This law calls for the establishment of a Directory listing cigarette manufacturers and brands. Effective August 4, 2004, cigarettes cannot be sold in Massachusetts unless the brand and the manufacturer are listed in the Directory.
In order to be listed in the Directory, a manufacturer must submit a Tobacco Product Manufacturer (TPM) Certification identifying its brands and satisfying certain additional requirements. The Directory can be found on the Massachusetts Department of Revenue website.
940 CMR 24.00 is the Office of the Attorney General’s regulations governing TPM Certification
Important Legal Notice to all Tobacco Product Manufacturers
All Tobacco Product Manufacturers should read the following notices:
The forms are provided in a fillable PDF format, which allows the form to be completed on the computer screen, and then printed as filled out. The user still must sign the completed form, include all required attachments, and mail in the form. For technical questions or concerns, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
2017 Tobacco Product Manufacturer (TPM) Certification (M.G.L. c. 94F) (2016 Sales):
2017 Quarterly Certificate of Escrow Deposit Form (M.G.L. c. 94F § 4(e)) (2017 Sales):
2017 Notice of Appointment of Registered Agent (M.G.L. c. 94F § 3):
2017 TPM Excel Spreadsheets from the Massachusetts Directory
Pursuant to Part III.A. of the TPM Certification Form, a TPM must download, complete, and submit the TPM’s Excel spreadsheet listing the Brand Styles and RYO Brand Families it currently lists on the Massachusetts Tobacco Product Directory. Manufacturers seeking an initial certification of their products should download, complete, and submit the Initial Certification Spreadsheet. Each TPM’s spreadsheet and the Initial Certification Spreadsheet are provided below
If you believe that a Tobacco Product Manufacturer or retailer is violating the tobacco control laws, or that a participating manufacturer is violating the Master Settlement Agreement, please bring your concerns to our attention. Click here to go to the Office of the Attorney General’s Consumer Advocacy and Response Division (“CARD”) website to submit a complaint.