August 11, 2005
CURRAN ANNOUNCES AGREEMENT WITH 7-ELEVEN TO CURB
TOBACCO SALES TO MINORS
Sixth Multi-State Agreement With Major Retailers Covers 308 Maryland
Attorney General J. Joseph Curran Jr., today announced
an agreement with 7-Eleven, Inc. under which the nation’s largest seller
of tobacco products will implement new procedures to reduce such
sales to minors at its 308 Maryland stores, and 5,623 outlets in
33 other states and Washington D.C. "Every day we keep a child
from smoking is a public health victory. With this agreement, 7-Eleven
joins the growing list of retailers who have demonstrated their
commitment to keeping our kids healthy in Maryland and across the
country," said Curran.
The 7-Eleven "Assurance of Voluntary Compliance" (AVC)
is the sixth such agreement produced by an ongoing, multi-state
enforcement effort which Attorney General Curran has helped lead.
Previous agreements cover all Wal-Mart, Walgreens and Rite Aid
stores, and all gas stations and convenience stores operating under
the Exxon, Mobil, BP, and Amoco brand names, in the signing states.
Combined, the agreements cover nearly 50,000 retail outlets across
the nation, with more than 1160 in Maryland alone. They provide
measures to reduce sales of tobacco products to minors by the nation’s
top retail chain (Wal-Mart), number one drug store chain (Walgreens),
largest oil company (ExxonMobil) and biggest retailer of tobacco
products (7-Eleven). Launched in 2000, the multi-state enforcement
effort by a group of 32 Attorneys General focuses on retailers
with poor records of selling tobacco products to minors. State
laws prohibit such sales. 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 that 7-Eleven do the following
at all company-owned stores:
• Check the ID of any person purchasing tobacco
products when the person appears to be under the age of 27, and
valid government-issued photo ID as proof of age.
• Prohibit self-service displays of tobacco
products, the use of vending machines to sell tobacco products,
of free samples, sale of cigarette look-alike products, and the
sale of smoking paraphernalia to minors.
• Hire an independent entity to conduct random
compliance checks of 900 7-Eleven stores annually in the signing
• Restrict in-store advertising of tobacco
products adjacent to products popular with minors and outdoor
advertising within 500 feet of schools and playgrounds.
• Train employees on state and local laws
and company policies regarding tobacco sales to minors, including
explaining the health-related
reasons for laws that restrict youth access to tobacco.
7-Eleven will also take steps to effect compliance by its franchisees
with the provisions of the agreement and state laws concerning
The Attorneys General have long recognized that youth access to
tobacco products ranks among the most serious public health problems.
Studies show more than 80 percent of adult smokers begin 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.
*If you would like to view the agreement go to http://www.oag.state.md.us/Tobacco/711agreement.pdf *