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HARRISBURG, Pa. -- In a concerted effort to reduce the sale of cigarettes to minors, Pennsylvania, along with 44 other states and the District of Columbia, reached an agreement with Shell Oil Products US, and its joint venture Motiva Enterprises LLC.
"Studies show that state tobacco control programs are effective at cutting the number of smokers," Attorney General Tom Corbett told Gantdaily.com. "By requiring companies to comply with the law and limiting access to cigarettes, we help stop kids from smoking."
Shell and Motiva supply gasoline through approximately 14,000 gas stations in the U.S., more than 13,000 of which are in states joining this agreement. While Shell and Motiva do not directly own or operate many of the convenience stores at Shell stations, they are fully supporting the initiative.
Corbett explained that the Shell "Assurance of Voluntary Compliance" (AVC) was produced by a multi-state enforcement effort among the Attorneys General. The AVC includes provisions for comprehensive training of retail personnel regarding laws prohibiting tobacco sales to minors, independent compliance checks to monitor sales practices at certain convenience stores at Shell stations, and potential sanctions against contract operators that sell tobacco to minors, Corbett noted.
Other companies that signed on in participating states include 7-Eleven, CVS, Turkey Hill, Walgreens and Rite Aid stores, and all gas stations and convenience stores operating under the Conoco, Phillips 66, 76, Exxon, Mobil and Chevron brand names.
"Tobacco use remains this country's leading preventable cause of death," Corbett told Gantdaily.com. "And because nicotine addiction and smoking-related diseases cost our state's health care system an additional $5.19 billion annually, every child that doesn’t become a smoker, is a health victory, both for the child and for the state."
In addition to Pennsylvania, this agreement includes Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wyoming and the District of Columbia.