46 Attorneys General Sign Agreement, Covering About 13,000 Shell Outlets
Attorney General Hardy Myers today announced an agreement with Shell Oil Products US and its joint venture, Motiva Enterprises LLC, to curb the sale of tobacco products to minors. Oregon was joined by Attorneys General from 45 other states and the District of Columbia. More than 14,000 gas stations in the United States sell Shell gasoline, including 268 in Oregon operated by both contracted and independent individuals. Most stations have convenience stores that sell items including tobacco products.
"Each time we announce an agreement with another national oil company to assist us in making it harder for minors to illegally obtain tobacco products, the effort is well worth the outcome," Myers explained. "We commend Shell for joining us in this important, ongoing effort, but much remains to be done in the battle against childhood addiction to tobacco."
Under the agreement, Shell has agreed to adopt procedures designed to reduce sales of cigarettes to minors at these locations, even though Shell does not directly own or operate the convenience stores.
Nationwide, 47 percent of underage youths who reported buying cigarettes have said they did so at gas station convenience stores. "By requiring compliance with the law and limiting access to cigarettes, we help stop kids from smoking. For every child that doesn't become a smoker, that's a health victory, for the child and for the state," Myers added.
The Shell Assurance of Voluntary Compliance ( AVC) filed in Marion County Circuit Court was produced by an ongoing, multi-state enforcement effort among the Attorneys General, and incorporates "best practices" developed by the Attorneys General in consultation with public health researchers and state and federal tobacco control officials.
The agreement includes provisions for comprehensive training of retail personnel, independent compliance checks to monitor sales practices at certain Shell-branded convenience stores, and sanctions against contract operators that sell tobacco to minors, among other terms.
Other similar, multi-state agreements cover gas station convenience stores selling fuel under the Conoco, Phillips 66 or 76, Exxon, Mobil, BP Amoco, ARCO and Chevron brand names, and the retail and pharmacy chains Kroger, 7-Eleven, Walgreens, Rite Aid, CVS, and Wal-Mart.
Studies show that most adult smokers began smoking before the age of 18, and that young people are particularly susceptible to the hazards of tobacco, often showing signs of addiction after smoking only a few cigarettes.
Consumers wanting more information about this settlement and other similar agreements may contact the Attorney General's consumer hotline at (503) 378-4320 ( Salem area only), (503) 229-5576 ( Portland area only) or toll-free at 1-877-877-9392. The Oregon Department of Justice is online at www.doj.state.or.us.
Jake Weigler, (503) 378-6002
Jan Margosian, (503) 947-4333 (media line only) firstname.lastname@example.org