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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Lorillard Tobacco Co. is joining with more than 30 states to prevent illegal cigarette sales through the mail and Internet and also reduce the sales of cigarettes to minors, The Associated Press reported.
The Greensboro-based company announced Tuesday that it will curtail direct shipments to customers determined to have engaged in illegal sales and suspend promotional programs for sellers who engaged in illegal sales.
"Lorillard always has supported compliance with laws dealing with the illegal sale of our products, and has instituted measures to punish those who are determined to be in violation of the law," said Ronald S. Milstein, senior vice president, legal and external affairs for Lorillard. "We believe that these measures will assist our active efforts to combat counterfeit product sales and will help us and our customers to comply with the laws and regulations intended to stop sales to and consumption of our products by youth."
Officials said Internet and mail-order sales can avoid sales taxes and that foreign sales can violate federal laws on labeling, contraband, money laundering and smuggling.
The negotiations with Lorillard were led by New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, whose spokeswoman said the goal is to reach similar agreements with other tobacco companies, but no timetable has been set, according to the AP report.
The agreement applies in: Alabama, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, Northern Mariana Islands, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia and Wyoming.