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    Cumberland Farms Settles Tobacco Charges

    Retailer will pay Mass. AG's office $35,000 to finance tobacco-related programs.

    CANTON, Mass. -- Cumberland Farms Inc. reached a settlement with the Massachusetts Attorney General's Office on allegations that the company's convenience stores "lacked proper procedures to curb tobacco sales to minors."

    In testing by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health's Tobacco Compliance Program, Cumberland Farms' stores allegedly sold tobacco products to a minor 134 times between 2004 and the first half of 2006, Providence Business News reported.

    Besides a payment of $35,000 to the attorney general's Local Consumer Aid Fund to help finance tobacco-related and other consumer programs, the agreement requires the retailer to:

    -- establish new training programs and stricter policies for the sale of tobacco products;

    -- program cash registers to remind workers to check ID;

    -- hire an outside company to perform random compliance checks;

    -- restrict tobacco advertising to tobacco display areas;

    -- ban outside and outward-facing tobacco ads within 500 feet of a school or playground, and

    -- ban the sale of candy and chewing gum designed to look like cigars or cigarettes.

    "Massachusetts law requires retailers to check the photo ID of every customer who appears under the age of 27 to verify that the customer is at least 18 years old before selling tobacco products, and we expect retailers to abide by that law," Attorney General Martha Coakley said in the Providence Business News report.

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