What is MSA Funding?

The Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) was an agreement made between Pennsylvania and 45 other states across the country and the tobacco industry. The money earned from this agreement is meant for cessation and prevention programs like TRU.

History of MSA

In 1998, Pennsylvania and 45 other states entered into a Master Settlement Agreement with the tobacco industry. The Master Settlement Agreement was estimated at a minimum of $206 billion dollars nationwide; Pennsylvania was allotted an estimated $11 billion dollars to be disbursed in the first 25 years of the agreement to pay for the costs caused by lives lost due to tobacco.[1] In 2001, Pennsylvania created Act 77 which established the Tobacco Settlement Fund (where all MSA funds are place once received). It also established related programs that are supported by the fund. However, the agreement does not contain any language requiring states to allocate money to tobacco prevention & cessation so many states, including PA, have used MSA funds for other purposes. Since 2001, our funding in PA has been eroded. Without the necessary dollars from the Master Settlement Agreement, we wouldn’t have the prevention programs and the cessation programs to help teens in PA stay tobacco-free. 

Recently, in March 2023, Governor Shapiro proposed to maintain level state funding for tobacco prevention & control services in FY2024. However, this proposal is just the start of the budget process for the coming year. That is why we need the help of our advocates (like TRU groups!) to continue advocating for funding of our programs.


What Does this Mean for You?

Basically, this means that without the necessary funding, tobacco prevention programs like TRU wouldn’t exist! That’s why we need the help of TRU groups like YOURS to help us continually advocate for the right funding we need to make our programs great and to help protect youth across PA from a life of nicotine addiction. Find ways to advocate with our activities below or check out our Advocacy Toolkit and watch our Advocacy 101 webinar to learn more. Stay tuned for updates to these resources, as well!


Increase state funding for comprehensive tobacco prevention & control programs for FY24.


Get Involved

1) Tell us why YOU believe that tobacco prevention & control funding is important by joining our MSA social media campaign using the hashtag #SaveMSAinPA and tagging @TRUinPA

2) Using the MSA email template to contact your legislator directly or complete #TheFaceYouFund picture frame to take a selfie. Whatever activity you choose, be sure to post it on social media using the hashtag #TheFaceYouFund and tagging @TRUinPA and your lawmaker! This is a great way to showcase where MSA dollars go and how it helps people like YOU!  


Funding Timeline

Year Funding Change
2001 PA passed legislation (Act 77) allocating 12% of the MSA budget to tobacco cessation and prevention. In the intervening years, that budget has taken several hits as described in these tabs. Tobacco prevention and cessation is now down to less than 5% of the MSA budget.
2005 3% of Tobacco Prevention and Cessation funds were used to patch up holes in the state budget.
2010 Tobacco cessation and prevention funds decreased by 45%, forcing the elimination of the majority of tobacco cessation and prevention programs targeting youth and the community.
2013 An MSA-related arbitration panel ruled against PA in a non-participating manufacturer adjustment dispute, reducing the 2014 payment by $169.9 million.
2015 The tobacco cessation and prevention fund remains decreased by a 45% funding cut. The PA Department of Health estimates that $14.2 million will be allocated for tobacco control and prevention programming. This is only 10% of the CDC’s recommended spending level of $140 million.
2017 The Pennsylvania legislature floated a bond using MSA funds to balance the state budget. MSA funds no longer support tobacco cessation and prevention programs in Pennsylvania. Without a dedicated funding stream, future program funding may be vulnerable to budget cuts.
2019 PA passed legislation (Act 20) requiring revenues from the MSA to be used to pay the debt service on bonds issued. A provision was included that required funds equal to the debt service payment to be transferred from cigarette tax revenues to the Tobacco Settlement fund. This provision must be reauthorized every year, or funding to programs will be reduced or eliminated.

Since 2014, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) has recommended that Pennsylvania fund its tobacco prevention programs in the amount of $140 million. [2]

MSA Message Board

Share why MSA funding is important to you and your TRU group using our #NoTakebacks message board!

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[1] Pennsylvania Alliance to Control Tobacco (PACT). Tobacco Control Issues: Master Settlement Agreement. Available at 

[2] Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. Broken Promises to Our Children: A State-by-State Look at the 1998 Tobacco Settlement 22 Years Later. Available at