Terry Goddard Announces Agreement with CVS to Curb Tobacco Sales to Minors

(Phoenix, Ariz. – March 15, 2006) Attorney General Terry Goddard today announced an agreement with CVS Pharmacy Inc., the country’s largest drug store chain, to implement new procedures to reduce sales of tobacco products to minors. The agreement affects more than 5,400 stores in 34 states, including all 58 stores in Arizona.

"Every day that we keep a child from smoking is a public health victory,” Goddard said. “CVS joins the growing list of retailers who have demonstrated their commitment to keeping kids healthy in Arizona and across the country."

This is the eighth multi-state agreement with companies to reduce tobacco sales to young people. Other retailers and gas stations who have entered into an Assurance of Voluntary Compliance include 7-Eleven, Wal-Mart, Walgreens and Rite Aid stores, and gas stations and convenience stores operating under the Conoco, Phillips 66 or 76, Exxon, Mobil, BP, Amoco and ARCO brand names. Combined, the agreements now cover more than 60,000 retail outlets in the 34 signing states and Washington, D.C.

The agreement announced today requires that CVS do the following:

  • Check the ID of any person purchasing tobacco products when the person appears to be under the age of 27, and accept only valid government-issued photo ID as proof of age.
  • Prohibit self-service displays of tobacco products, the use of vending machines to sell tobacco products, distribution of free samples, sale of cigarette look-alike products, and the sale of smoking paraphernalia to minors.
  • Hire an independent entity to conduct random compliance checks at more than 1,300 CVS stores annually in the signing states.
  • Limit tobacco signage to brand names, logos, other trademarks and pricing, and ensure that all tobacco advertising inside the store is confined to the area where tobacco products are sold.
  • Train employees on state and local laws and company policies regarding tobacco sales to minors, including health-related reasons for laws that restrict youth access to tobacco.

The Attorneys General have long recognized that youth access to tobacco products is one of the nation’s most serious public health problems. Across the country, 2,000 teenagers begin smoking each day, one-third of whom will die of a tobacco-related disease. In Arizona, more than 20 percent of all smokers are under the age of 18.

The Tobacco Enforcement Unit of the Arizona Attorney General’s Office monitors retailer compliance with state laws that prohibit the sale of tobacco products to minors. To report suspected violations of Arizona’s youth tobacco laws, please call the Arizona Attorney General’s Office Youth Tobacco Inspection Information Line at 602-542-7747 or the Arizona Youth Tobacco Hotline toll free at 1-866-342-7855.