TALLAHASSEE – LAWFUEL – Press Release Service – Attorney …

TALLAHASSEE – LAWFUEL – Press Release Service – Attorney General Charlie Crist today announced an agreement with Chevron Products Company under which the chain will implement new procedures to reduce tobacco sales to minors. The agreement will affect the company’s 919 Florida stores and more than 9,300 outlets nationwide. Crist and 27 other attorneys general signed the agreement.

The Chevron settlement is the tenth such agreement produced by an ongoing multi-state enforcement effort in which Florida has actively participated. Previous agreements cover all 7-Eleven, Wal-Mart, Walgreens, CVS and Rite Aid stores and all gas stations and convenience stores operating under the Conoco, Phillips 66, Exxon, Mobil, BP, Amoco and ARCO brand names in the participating states. The agreements provide measures to reduce sales of tobacco products to minors by the nation’s top retail chain (Wal-Mart), the top two drug store chains (CVS and Walgreens), the largest oil company (ExxonMobil) and the biggest retailer of tobacco products (7-Eleven). Combined, the agreements cover more than 70,000 retail outlets across the nation.

“Every time a young Floridian is prevented from purchasing tobacco products, that child’s chance for a healthy life is improved,” said Crist.
“I am pleased that yet another major retailer has agreed to intensify efforts designed to curtail teen tobacco use.”

Launched in 2000, the multi-state enforcement effort by the attorneys general focuses on retailers with poor records of selling tobacco products to minors. Undercover inspections showed minors were able to buy tobacco products at several Chevron stores.

The enforcement program’s goal is to secure the companies’ agreement to take specific corrective actions. The agreements incorporate “best practices” to reduce sales to minors, developed by the attorneys general in consultation with researchers and state and federal tobacco control officials.

The agreement announced today requires Chevron to implement practices that will prevent youth tobacco retailing at each of its company-owned stores. Chevron will also take steps to prevent youth access to tobacco at its franchise outlets in the participating states, including providing annual notices of the importance of complying with youth access laws, requiring franchisees to report violations to the corporate office and modifying franchise agreements to provide that violations of youth access laws may constitute grounds for termination or non-renewal of the franchise agreement.

The attorneys general have long recognized that youth access to tobacco products ranks among the most serious public health problems.
Studies show that more than 80 percent of adult smokers began smoking before the age of 18. Research indicates that every day in the United States, more than 2,000 people under the age of 18 start smoking and that one-third of those persons ultimately will die from a tobacco-related disease. Young people are particularly susceptible to the hazards of tobacco, often showing signs of addiction after smoking only a few cigarettes.

Floridians who suspect violations of state tobacco laws or the multi-state agreement can file complaints by calling Attorney General Crist’s fraud hotline at 1-866-9-NO-SCAM (866-966-7226) at any time.

The Attorney General’s agreement with Chevron is available online at:
http://myfloridalegal.com/webfiles.nsf/WF/MRAY-6QSLGX/$file/Chevron_AVC.pdf

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