RICHMOND, Va. (AP) The nation’s top cigarette makers said Tuesday they have made about $6 billion in annual payments as part of a longstanding settlement in which some companies are paying states for smoking related health care costs.

Under the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement, participating tobacco companies agreed to make billions in payments to 46 states, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam, the U.S. commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and the District of Columbia over more than two decades. States first received full payments under the settlement in 1999. It was estimated that the companies would pay up to $246 billion over 25 years. Future annual payments also will continue in perpetuity.

The billions in annual payments come amid criticism from public health officials that states are using only a small amount of the money to fund tobacco prevention programs, making it harder to reduce death and disease caused by tobacco use. The settlement did not mandate that the money was to be used for anti tobacco and stop smoking programs.

While states on average have never spent as much the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would like, the total has declined dramatically in recent years as states have grappled with budget deficits. Many also have raised tobacco taxes in order to increase revenue and supplement funds provided by the tobacco industry.

Philip Morris USA, the nation’s largest cigarette maker owned by Altria Group Inc., said Tuesday that it made its payment of about $3.3 billion as part of the settlement.

The Richmond based maker of Marlboro, Virginia Slims and Parliament cigarettes said the payment includes an undisclosed amount that it says it doesn’t owe that was deposited into a separate account. The company will try to get it back through negotiations or arbitration, as allowed under the settlement.

No. 2 R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., owned by Reynolds American Inc., based in Winston Salem, N.C., paid $1.77 billion this year. The maker of Camel, Pall Mall, Kool and other brands deposited a portion it disputes $421 million into a separate account.

No. 3 Lorillard Inc., Greensboro, N.C. based maker of Newport, True and Maverick brand cigarettes, paid $1.1 billion this year, including $93 million it disputes.

Philip Morris USA said it has paid more than $66 billion under the settlement and previous agreements since 1997. RJR has paid more than $33 billion under the agreements, and Lorillard has paid more than $16 billion.

Michael Felberbaum can be reached at
(Menafn Marketwired via COMTEX)

Gilla and Pharmaceutical Supplier to Launch PharmaCig in Ireland

MIAMI, FLORIDA, Apr 16, 2014 (Menafn Marketwired via COMTEX) Gilla Inc. (“Gilla” or the “Company”) (otcqb GLLA) is pleased toannounce it has entered into a three year agreement with LynchMedical Supplies Ltd. (“LMS”) to exclusively supply, brand anddistribute a new line of electronic cigarettes (“e cigarettes”),vaporizers and e liquids in Ireland called PharmaCig. LMS currentlyservices 1,000 independent pharmacies in Ireland and will exclusivelymarket and distribute the PharmaCig brand in that country for theterm of the agreement.

Gilla’s out of the box sales and marketing solution includes premiume cigarette, vaporizer and e liquid product and packaging design,branding and logistics. The Company also specializes in the digitalspace and will be providing LMS with a PharmaCig branded e commercewebsite for an additional monthly recurring fee.

“The PharmaCig brand represents a great opportunity for Gilla tomarket its products to the pharmacy niche,” said Graham Simmonds, CEOof Gilla. He added, “LMS is the ideal channel partner for us to enterthis market and we will continue to look for similar channel partnersin other countries to advance the PharmaCig brand.”

Danny Yuranyi, President of Gilla commented that, “The level ofgrowth and opportunity for the e cigarette category in Ireland isamazing, and LMS has the experience and distribution network tomaximize on it. Together we’ll make sure the PharmaCig brand is ahuge success.”

About Gilla Inc.

Gilla Inc. designs, markets and distributes electronic cigarettes(“e cigarettes”), vaporizers, e liquids and related accessories.E cigarettes and vaporizers are replacements for traditionalcigarettes allowing smokers to reproduce the smoking experience.E cigarettes and vaporizers do not burn tobacco and are not smokingcessation devices.

About Lynch Medical Supplies Ltd.

Lynch Medical Supplies was founded in 2003 by John Lynch. It startedout as the sole distributor of Arthrex, one of the world’s leadingOrthopaedic sports injury companies, and has become one of theleading distributors for the pharmaceutical and retail branches ofthe healthcare industry in Ireland.

Forward looking Statements

Note This press release contains “forward looking statements” asdefined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of forward looking statements are based on currently availablecompetitive, financial and economic data and management’s views andassumptions regarding future events. Such forward looking statementsare inherently uncertain. Gilla Inc. cannot provide assurances thatthe matters described in this press release will be successfullycompleted or that the company will realize the anticipated benefitsof any transaction. Actual results may differ materially from thoseprojected as a result of certain risks and uncertainties, includingbut not limited to global economic and market conditions the war onterrorism and the potential for war or other hostilities in otherparts of the world the availability of financing and lines ofcredit successful integration of acquired or merged businesses changes in interest rates management’s ability to forecast revenuesand control expenses, especially on a quarterly basis unexpecteddecline in revenues without a corresponding and timely slowdown inexpense growth the company’s ability to retain key management andemployees intense competition and the company’s ability to meetdemand at competitive prices and to continue to introduce newproducts and new versions of existing products that keep pace withtechnological developments, satisfy increasingly sophisticatedcustomer requirements and achieve market acceptance relationshipswith significant suppliers and customers as well as other risks anduncertainties, including but not limited to those detailed from timeto time in Gilla Inc. SEC filings. Gilla Inc. undertakes noobligation to update information contained in this release. Forfurther information regarding risks and uncertainties associated withGilla Inc.’s business, please refer to the risks and uncertaintiesdetailed from time to time in Gilla Inc.’s SEC filings.

Gilla Inc.
Mr. Graham Simmonds, Chief Executive Officer
1 (855) 547 6653 Ext. 300

Twitter gillainc

SOURCE Gilla Inc.

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