Our Organic Northwest
12:53 pm
Thu January 21, 2010

WA Outlaws Cigarette Company

OLYMPIA,Wash. -- Wrangler cigars, Bronco cigarettes and other products by the firm General Tobacco, will be prohibited in Washington state beginning in February. The company owes the state millions in late payments.

In 1998, Washington signed on to a national tobacco settlement agreement. One of the outcomes: tobacco companies compensate states for money spent on patients with tobacco-related illnesses.

Washington state attorney, David Hankins says General Tobacco hasn't paid up since July of 2009.

David Hankins: “They're probably out for good because to get us to this step is a pretty Draconian step because you know they can no longer sell their product so for a business that's the death knell.”

Washington is one of 17 states to outlaw General Tobacco Products. The company owes a total of $285 million dollars to states through the Master Tobacco Settlement, including $7 million to Washington state.