Texas Office of the Attorney General issued the following announcement on Jan. 29.
Attorney General Ken Paxton asked a U.S. District Court to enforce terms of the Texas tobacco settlement agreement requiring major cigarette companies to pay more than $125 million to the state of Texas.
In 2015, ITG Brands LLC acquired three cigarette brands from R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company and one cigarette brand from Lorillard Tobacco Company, both of which signed the comprehensive settlement agreement with Texas over smoking-related health care costs. Since the acquisition, neither ITG Brands LLC nor R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company has made the required payments to Texas for sales of the four cigarette brands – Kool, Maverick, Salem and Winston. These companies remain obligated under the comprehensive settlement agreement for sales of these cigarettes.
“Taxpayers of Texas are owed over one hundred million dollars in back payments from the tobacco settlement, and my office is going to make sure that the tobacco companies live up to the terms of the comprehensive settlement agreement with our state now and in the future,” Attorney General Paxton said.
The 1998 comprehensive settlement agreement with Texas is a broad agreement, requiring the settling tobacco companies to pay billions of dollars to Texas, as well as mandating other broad changes to the way tobacco companies do business, such as requiring the elimination of marketing to youth and anti-smoking education programs.
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