Oregon Department of Justice

Attorney General Ellen F. Rosenblum

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CIRCLE K AGREES TO REFORMS FOR TOBACCO SALES TO MINORS

May 17, 2011

Agreement will address the incidence of minor tobacco sales at roughly 4,000 stores nationwide

Attorney General John Kroger today announced an agreement with Circle K Stores, Inc. that requires the retailer to ramp up safeguards to block the sale of tobacco to minors at approximately 4,000 locations nationwide.

Circle K is the nation's largest operator of company-owned convenience stores.

"We have a duty to protect Oregon's children against the dangers of tobacco, and this agreement is another step towards achieving that commitment," said Attorney General Kroger.

Under the agreement filed today in Marion County Circuit Court, Circle K will adopt specific procedures designed to reduce sales and marketing of cigarettes and other tobacco products to minors in all of its approximately 3,000 corporate-owned stores, and will adopt various methods designed to curb underage tobacco sales at another 1,000 franchise locations. Currently, there are 15 corporate-owned Circle K stores and 40 franchises operating in the State of Oregon.

Today's agreement is part of an ongoing multistate enforcement effort that has produced close to a dozen similar settlements with large retailers such as Wal Mart and Rite Aid, as well as mini marts like 7-11 and Exxon/Mobile, BP. All of the agreements require vendors to reduce the sale of tobacco to minors through effective employee training and other policies and procedures.

The agreement with Circle K includes provisions for comprehensive training of retail personnel, independent compliance checks to monitor sales practices, advising contract operators that there will be serious ramifications imposed for underage tobacco sales, and several other protections.

The agreement notes that the great majority of adult smokers started before they reached eighteen; that young people show signs of addiction after smoking only a few cigarettes; and that the younger a person begins to smoke the more likely he or she will be unable to quit and will suffer from a tobacco-related disease.

Assistant Attorney General Eva Novick handled the case for the Oregon Department of Justice.

Attorney General John Kroger leads the Oregon Department of Justice. The Department's mission is to fight crime and fraud, protect the environment, improve child welfare, promote a positive business climate, and defend the rights of all Oregonians.

Contact:

Tony Green, (503) 378-6002 tony.green@doj.state.or.us |
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