Shell Oil signs agreement with AGs

John O'Brien Aug. 25, 2008, 2:33pm


CHICAGO (Legal Newsline) - A multi-state agreement with Shell Oil Products announced Monday is designed to curb cigarette sales to minors.

Shell Oil is the 12th national retailer to reach such an agreement and will also pay $100,000 for investigative costs incurred by the states.

"Studies show that most adult smokers begin smoking before turning 18, and we know 47 percent of underage youth who reported buying cigarettes say they purchased them at gas station convenience stores," Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan said.

"By preventing a teen from smoking, we can protect the health of the next generation. I am pleased that this agreement will help to curb youth's access to tobacco products."

Other national retailers reaching agreements with the state attorneys general include CVS, 7-Eleven, Wal-Mart and Walgreens. More than 90,000 retail outlets are covered by the agreements, including approximately 14,000 Shell Oil stores.

In addition to Madigan, the participating attorneys general represent Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, 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, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wyoming.

Attorneys general have a long history of crusading against the tobacco industry, including the 1998 Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement in which 46 states and six territories participated. It has an estimated worth of $246 billion.

Last year, a group of attorneys general successfully pushed the Motion Picture Association of America to consider the presence of smoking when rating a movie.

Under the agreement, Shell Oil will have to take specific corrective actions, Madigan said. The multi-AG initiative focuses on companies with poor records of selling tobacco products to minors, she added.

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