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October 09, 2003
Washington Receives $1.295 Million in Tobacco Settlement Funds

Olympia - Washington has received $1.295 million as part of two national settlements resolving disputed payments from tobacco manufacturers, according to Attorney General Christine Gregoire.

The first settlement resolves a dispute between the states that are parties to the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) and Premier Manufacturing, Inc. of Missouri over whether the firm had paid the states in full for all the cigarettes it manufactured.

The second settlement, with Tabacos De Canarias S.L. ("CITA"), a Spanish cigarette manufacturer located in the Canary Islands, resolves a dispute over payments that tobacco companies which were not parties to the MSA are required to pay into escrow accounts.

"We continue to insist that tobacco companies pay every cent they owe whether they joined the MSA or not," Gregoire said.

Premier is one of the dozens of smaller tobacco companies that joined the MSA after it was signed. CITA's subsidiary, Canary Islands Cigars Company, has joined the MSA as part of the recent settlement.

Nearly 30 percent of the payment will be used to pay off bonds approved by the 2002 legislature, leaving approximately $917,500 in the state treasury.


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