In 1998, Louisiana along with 45 other states and territories entered into a historic, multibillion dollar agreement to settle lawsuits filed by the states for costs 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. Louisiana’s annual payment contributes to the TOPS (Taylor Opportunity Program for Students) scholarship program.
The Tobacco Unit of the Attorney General’s Public Protection Division is responsible for enforcing the terms of the MSA between the State of Louisiana and Participating Manufacturers to the MSA. In addition to this responsibility, numerous Louisiana statutes related to tobacco sales are enforced by the Attorney General’s Office. These statutes relate to escrow payments made by certain non-settling tobacco manufacturers, the development and maintenance of an approved directory of cigarette and roll-your-own (“RYO”) tobacco brands that may be sold in the State, and the reporting of cigarette and RYO sales by manufacturers and wholesalers. The Louisiana Department of Revenue and Alcohol and Tobacco Control also share various duties in enforcement of tobacco related legislation.
The Tobacco Unit maintains a directory listing of all tobacco product manufacturers and respective brand families that are eligible to sell cigarettes and RYO in Louisiana. Tobacco product manufacturers included in the directory are required to submit certifications showing they meet current legal requirements. The directory is updated as necessary to add and remove tobacco product manufacturers or brand families. It is illegal to affix a tax stamp to a package of cigarettes, or pay the tax on RYO, from a tobacco product manufacturer or brand family that is not listed on the directory. It is also illegal to sell, offer, or possess for sale or personal consumption, cigarettes or RYO of a tobacco product manufacturer or brand family not listed on the State directory.
The “Louisiana Approved Tobacco Products Directory” offers up-to-date information regarding the State directory of cigarettes and RYO approved for sale. The “Manufacturer Forms” amd "Wholesaler Forms" sections are available to those that transact in tobacco products, including tobacco manufacturers and wholesaler dealers, and will facilitate their compliance with Louisiana law. The “Notices” section contains copies of notices sent to various entities regarding their responsibilities under Louisiana law. The “Applicable Law” section contains copies of applicable laws. The “Helpful Links” section provides links to other Louisiana agencies tasked with tobacco enforcement.
Questions related to Louisiana tobacco reporting may be directed to TobaccoDOJ@ag.louisiana.gov or by calling 1-800-241-9311.