For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Bob Cooper
(208) 334-4112

Date: September 30, 2003

Idaho Reaches Voluntary Agreement With Wal-Mart Stores To Reduce Tobacco Sales To Minors

(Boise) - Wal-Mart stores will implement new policies and procedures to reduce tobacco sales to minors, Attorney General Lawrence Wasden said. Wal-Mart signed an agreement with Idaho and 42 other states. The agreement outlines procedures the 18 Wal-Mart and Sam's Club stores in Idaho will implement to prevent minors from purchasing tobacco products.

"I believe it is important to stop tobacco companies from marketing to children and encouraging them to break the law," Attorney General Wasden said. "This voluntary agreement is a significant step toward cutting off youth access and illegal tobacco use by minors."

The first voluntary agreement to reduce the sale of tobacco to Idaho's youth was signed between the State of Idaho and Walgreens stores on February 13, 2002.

"Walgreens stores and the gas stations selling Exxon, Mobil and BP brand gasoline have previously signed similar agreements with my office," Attorney General Wasden said. "We certainly appreciate the commitment of all of these stores in stopping the illegal sale of tobacco to Idaho's youth."

Wal-Mart agreed to implement the following policies and procedures:

  • 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.
  • Check the ID of any person purchasing tobacco products when the person appears to be under age 27, and only accept currently valid government-issued photo identification as proof of age.
  • Use cash registers programmed to prompt ID checks on all tobacco sales.
  • Hire an independent entity to conduct random compliance checks of approximately 10% of all Wal-Mart stores every six months.
  • Prohibit self-service displays of tobacco products, the use of vending machines to sell tobacco products, and the distribution of free samples on store property.
  • Prohibit the sale of smoking paraphernalia to minors.

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