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TACOMA, Wash.--ConocoPhillips agreed to reduce sales of tobacco products to minors by establishing new agreements at about 10,000 gas stations and convenience stores in 40 states, reported Tacoma, Wash.-based The News Tribune .
Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna said Wednesday that ConocoPhilips, which operates under the Conoco, Phillips 66 and 76 store names, agreed to limit in-store advertising of tobacco products to brand names, logos, other trademarks and pricing, according to the report.
Additionally, the agreement bans self-service displays of cigarettes and all other tobacco products.
When agreements with independently owned stores are initiated or renewed, ConocoPhillips will require store management to notify the company of any underage tobacco sales infractions that occur. Violations can jeopardize a store's right to operate under company trademarks. The company has also agreed to write annually to each store to remind them of the importance of preventing tobacco sales to minors and the fact that failure to comply with underage tobacco sales laws could constitute grounds for ending their right to operate under the ConocoPhillips trademarks, according to Florida’s North Country Gazette .
In addition to spelling out the requirements for the independently owned and operated retail outlets, the agreement contains a series of policies and procedures that will be fully implemented at stores directly owned and operated by ConocoPhillips.
Among the changes to be implemented at ConocoPhillips' company-owned outlets are--changes in training and hiring of personnel, age verification efforts and compliance with laws restricting sales to minors, a prohibition on vending machines for cigarette sales, restriction of tobacco sales to one area of the store, an age limitation on the sale of smoking paraphernalia and various advertising restrictions.
The agreement notes that 47 percent of youth report buying cigarettes at gas stations as their primary point of purchase, and another 27 percent identify convenience stores, Tallahassee, Fla.-based North Country Gazette reported.
The participating states are Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
Previous agreements cover all Wal-Mart, Walgreens, Rite Aid and 7-Eleven stores, and all gas stations and convenience stores operating under the Exxon, Mobil, BP, ARCO and Amoco brand names in the signing states, the newspaper reported.