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

Date: August 11, 2005

Wasden: 7-Eleven Voluntarily Agrees to Curb Tobacco Sales to Minors

(Boise) – Attorney General Lawrence Wasden today announced an agreement with 7-Eleven, Inc. to reduce unlawful tobacco sales to minors at its 11 Idaho stores, 5,311 outlets in 33 other states, and the District of Columbia. 7-Eleven is the nations largest seller of tobacco products and will implement new procedures to address the problem.

"7-Eleven is to be commended for joining a growing number of responsible retailers who are actively working to prevent tobacco sales to youth," Attorney General Wasden, Co-Chair of the National Association of Attorneys General Tobacco Committee, said. "This voluntary agreement is another significant step toward reducing illegal tobacco use by minors."

Attorney General Wasden joined attorneys general from 38 other states and the District of Columbia in the settlement agreement.

By entering into an Assurance of Voluntary Compliance, 7-Eleven has voluntarily agreed to:

  • 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 more than 10% of all 7-Eleven stores in the participating states every six months.
  • Prohibit self-service displays of tobacco products, the use of vending machines to sell tobacco products, the sale of cigarette look-alike products, and the distribution of free samples on store property.
  • Prohibit the sale of smoking paraphernalia to minors.

7-Eleven is the seventh major retailer to enter into an Assurance of Voluntary Compliance produced by an ongoing, multi-state enforcement effort of which Wasden is a part. Previous agreements cover all Wal-Mart, Walgreens, and Rite Aid stores, and all gas stations and convenience stores operating under the Exxon, Mobil, BP, ARCO, and Amoco brand names, in the signing states.

Combined, the agreements cover nearly 50,000 retail outlets across the nation. 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’s goal is to secure the companies’ agreement to take specific corrective actions. The agreements incorporate “best practices” developed by the Attorneys General in consultation with researchers and state and federal tobacco control officials.

The attorneys general recognize that youth access to tobacco products ranks among the most serious public health problems. Studies show that more than 80 percent of adult smokers began 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 begin smoking and that one-third of those persons will one day die from a tobacco-related disease.

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