Philip Morris USA, RJR make tobacco payment

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The nation's top two cigarette companies say they have made their payments as part of an agreement in which some cigarette makers are paying the states for smoking-related health care costs.

Philip Morris USA, which is the nation's largest cigarette maker and is owned by Altria Group, said Thursday that it made its full annual payment of about $3.6 billion as part of the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement.

R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, the nation's second-largest cigarette maker, has made its payment of nearly $2 billion.

Both companies deposited the part of their payments they dispute into special accounts, as allowed under the settlement.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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