Office of the Attorney General
Attorney General Stumbo Announces Agreement with Chevron to Curb Tobacco Sales to Minors

Press Release Date:  Friday, June 16, 2006  
Contact Information:  Vicki Glass, 502-696-5643 Office  

Attorney General Stumbo today announced that he has joined the Attorneys General of 27 other states and the District of Columbia in an agreement with Chevron Products Company, one of the nation’s largest oil companies with approximately 9100 retail outlets in 32 states and Washington, D.C., under which Chevron will implement new procedures to reduce sales of cigarettes to minors. There are 256 Chevron-owned outlets in Kentucky, including six Texacos which are owned by Chevron.

"Every day we keep a child from smoking is a public health victory.  With this agreement, Chevron joins the growing list of retailers who have demonstrated their commitment to keeping our kids healthy in Kentucky and across the country," said Attorney General Stumbo.

The Chevron "Assurance of Voluntary Compliance" (AVC) is the tenth such agreement produced by an ongoing, multi-state enforcement effort.  Previous agreements cover all 7-Eleven, CVS, Wal-Mart, Walgreens and Rite Aid stores, and all gas stations and convenience stores operating under the Conoco, Phillips 66 or 76, Exxon, Mobil, BP, Amoco and ARCO brand names, in the signing states.  Combined, the agreements cover about 70,000 retail outlets across the nation.

Launched in 2000, the multi-state enforcement effort by the Attorneys General seeks to secure national retailers’ agreement to take specific corrective actions to prevent sales of tobacco products to minors.  State laws prohibit such sales.  The agreements incorporate "best practices" to reduce sales to minors, developed by the Attorneys General in consultation with researchers and state and federal tobacco control officials.

The agreement announced today requires that Chevron implement comprehensive youth prevention tobacco retailing practices at each of its company owned stores.  Chevron will also take a number of steps to prevent youth access to tobacco at its franchise outlets in signing states, including providing annual notices of the importance of complying with youth access laws; requiring franchisees to report violations to the corporate office; and modifying franchise agreements to provide that violations of youth access laws could constitute grounds for termination or non-renewal of the franchise agreement.

The Attorneys General have long recognized that youth access to tobacco products ranks among the most serious public health problems.  Studies show more than 80 percent of adult smokers begin 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 start smoking and that one-third of those persons ultimately will die from a tobacco-related disease.  Young people are particularly susceptible to the hazards of tobacco, often showing signs of addiction after smoking only a few cigarettes.