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Author: Chepke, Lindsey
Resulting in 1 citation.
1. Sloan, Frank A.
Chepke, Lindsey
Litigation, Settlement, And the Public Welfare: Lessons from the Master Settlement Agreement
Widener Law Review 17,1 (2011): 159-226.
Cohort(s): NLSY79 Young Adult, NLSY97
Publisher: Widner Law
Keyword(s): Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS); Cigarette Use (see Smoking); Health Factors; State-Level Data/Policy; Taxes

Permission to reprint the abstract has not been received from the publisher.

The Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) reached between forty-six State Attorneys General and the four major cigarette manufacturers in November 1998 represents a milestone in tobacco control policy in terms of its potential impact on public health and is also perhaps the most far-reaching example of regulation by litigation in U.S. history. In return for the states dropping their suits against the four companies, the companies agreed to pay the states $206 billion over twenty-five years. Given that the MSA has been implemented for over a decade, there is a substantial amount of qualitative and quantitative evidence available for an evaluation of this landmark settlement. The MSA raised several constitutional issues which have, a decade later, largely been resolved. The MSA contains several troublesome features, however. The MSA puts the states’ Attorneys General in the role of protecting the dominant cigarette manufacturers’ market share from potential entry of competitors. These are the same public officials who are charged with enforcing state antitrust laws. Other deficiencies include the privacy of negotiations, continued costs of enforcing settlement terms, lack of empirical evidence supporting the claim of increased medical cost to the state attributable to smoking, and the appreciably higher cost of raising the price of cigarettes than would be achievable by a cigarette excise tax increase. It is for such reasons that this article concludes that the MSA is a bad precedent as a corrective public policy.

"To ascertain whether or not there was a statistically significant decline in cigarette consumption among youths and adults after the MSA was implemented, we analyzed data from three surveys: (1) the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 (NLSY97); (2) the Young Adult Sample, a survey of children of women who responded to the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979; and (3) the Behavioral Risk Factor Survey Surveillance System (BRFSS) from 199 0 to 2007. The MSA effect was assessed using variables for before and after it was implemented. We determined whether the MSA affected smoking with or without inclusion of an explanatory variable for cigarette prices. With price included, the MSA variables measured effects of MSA non-price policies such as those affective advertising practices. Without price, the MSA variables measured the total effect of the MSA on smoking."

Bibliography Citation
Sloan, Frank A. and Lindsey Chepke. "Litigation, Settlement, And the Public Welfare: Lessons from the Master Settlement Agreement." Widener Law Review 17,1 (2011): 159-226.