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Madigan Announces Settlement With Shell To Curb Youth Tobacco Sales

Tuesday, October 21, 2008 11:39 AM CDT
Attorney General Lisa Madigan today announced an agreement with Shell Oil Products US and its joint venture, Motiva Enterprises LLC, in which Shell will implement new procedures designed to reduce cigarette sales to minors at more than 13,000 independent retail outlets.

“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,” 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.”

Madigan said this is the 12th agreement her office has signed with national retailers, including CVS, 7-Eleven, Wal-Mart and Walgreens stores, and gas stations and convenience stores operating under the Conoco, Phillips 66 or 76, Exxon, Mobil, BP and Amoco brand names.

The agreements are the result of an ongoing, multi-state enforcement effort. Combined, the agreements cover more than 90,000 retail outlets across the nation. Launched in 2000, this enforcement effort by the Attorneys General focuses on retailers around the country with poor records of selling tobacco products to minors. The enforcement program’s goal is to secure the companies’ agreement to take specific corrective actions. 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.

Research indicates that every day in the United States, more than 2,000 people under the age of 18 start smoking and, ultimately, one-third of these smokers 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.

Under the agreement, Shell also will pay $100,000 for the costs incurred by the states in investigation and negotiation.

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