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For Immediate Release

Media Contact:
Shanetta J. Paskel, 410-576-7939
spaskel@oag.state.md.us

Attorney General Gansler Announces Agreement With Shell Oil To Curb Tobacco Sales To Minors

47 Attorneys General Sign Agreement, Covering More Than 13,000 Shell Outlets

October 9, 2008 (Baltimore, MD)-Attorney General Gansler today announced that he has helped lead the Attorneys General of 45 states and the District of Columbia in an agreement with Shell Oil Products US and its joint venture Motiva Enterprises LLC. Shell and Motiva supply gasoline through approximately 14,000 gas stations in the U.S., more than 13,000 of which are in the states joining this agreement. Many of these gas stations include independently operated convenience stores that sell items including tobacco products. Shell and Motiva have agreed to adopt procedures designed to reduce sales of cigarettes to minors at these locations, despite the fact that they do not directly own or operate the convenience stores at Shell stations.

“With this agreement, Shell joins the growing list of companies demonstrating their commitment to lead efforts against youth access to tobacco in Maryland and nationwide," states Attorney General Gansler. "By requiring compliance with the law and limiting access to cigarettes, we help stop kids from smoking. Every child who doesn’t become a smoker represents a health victory for the child and for the State of Maryland,” says Attorney General Gansler. There are 275 Shell stations in Maryland. State law prohibits tobacco sales to minors. Nationwide, 47 percent of underage youths who reported buying cigarettes have stated that they did so at gas station convenience stores.

The Shell Assurance of Voluntary Compliance (“AVC”) 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. This AVC includes provisions for comprehensive training of retail personnel regarding laws prohibiting tobacco sales to minors, independent compliance checks to monitor sales practices at certain convenience stores at Shell stations, and potential sanctions against contract operators that sell tobacco to minors.

“We commend Shell for joining us in this important ongoing effort to keep tobacco out of the hands of young people,” said Attorney General Gansler. “Much remains to be done in the battle against childhood addiction to tobacco, but agreements like this one contribute greatly to the fight.”


   

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