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January 21, 2010
General Tobacco cigarettes can no longer be sold in Washington

Retailers must remove products from their shelves after Feb. 19

OLYMPIA – General Tobacco products can no longer be sold in Washington or 17 other states. The Washington Attorney General’s Office said the company has not made the required payments under the Master Settlement Agreement.

Vibo Corporation, Inc., which does business as General Tobacco, was founded in 1996 and is based in Mayodan, N.C. Its cigarette brands include Bronco, Champion, GT, Silver and 32⁰. The company owes the states approximately $284.5 million. Washington’s share is more than $7 million.

Retailers and wholesalers who have existing, stamped cigarettes manufactured by General Tobacco may continue to sell them through Feb. 19, then must remove any remaining inventory from their shelves. The stamps signify that taxes have already been collected.

The Attorney General’s Office has sent written notice to 10 wholesalers who distribute General Tobacco products in Washington, informing them about change. Approximately 6,500 retailers in Washington carry General Tobacco products.

Media Contact: Kristin Alexander, Media Relations Manager, (206) 464-6432

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