Arkansas Lawyer


In 1998, 46 states and numerous other jurisdictions entered into a historic, multibillion-dollar agreement to settle lawsuits filed by the states for the costs that the states had incurred for treating the negative health effects of smoking. This agreement referred to as the Master Settlement Agreement (MSA), imposed several health-related and advertising restrictions on settling tobacco manufacturers. In addition, the MSA requires the settling tobacco manufacturers to make annual payments to the settling states.

Arkansas’s annual payment is approximately $50 million. The money is used for a number of health-related programs in Arkansas. These programs include the Arkansas Biosciences Institute, an agricultural and medical research consortium; the Medicaid Expansion Program, which provides Medicaid coverage for pregnant women and increases hospital benefits for Medicaid beneficiaries; the Prevention and Cessation Program, which aims to reduce tobacco use; and the Targeted State Needs Program, which includes support for public health programs for minorities, older Arkansans and residents of rural areas and the Delta.

The Tobacco Division of the Attorney General’s Public Protection Department is responsible for enforcing the terms of the MSA.

In addition to this responsibility, several Arkansas statutes related to tobacco sales are enforced by the Attorney General’s office. These statutes relate to escrow payments made by certain tobacco non-settling tobacco manufacturers, the development and maintenance of an “Approved-for-Sale Directory” of cigarette brands that may be sold in the State, and the reporting of cigarette and “roll-your-own” cigarette sales by manufacturers, distributors, and wholesalers.

The “Applicable Law” section below contains copies of applicable laws. The “Forms” section is available to those that transact in tobacco products and will facilitate their compliance with Arkansas law. The “Approved-For-Sale” section offers up-to-date information regarding the Approved-For-Sale Directory and other pertinent information.

Questions related to Arkansas tobacco reporting may be directed to or by calling (501) 682-2007.


Applicable Law