Chevron Stores Agree to Combat Sales of Tobacco to Minors

Chevron Products Co. will take steps to reduce cigarette sales to children under an agreement announced Thursday with 27 states and Washington, D.C.

The division of oil giant Chevron Corp., which operates 9,100 retail outlets, agreed to conduct employee training, install cash-register prompts that ask for identification, post warning signs and videotape sales.

Chevron, based in San Ramon, Calif., also will eliminate cigarette vending machines, store tobacco products in secure areas, stop handing out free tobacco products, and stop selling cigarettes in quantities less than 20.

"It will be much harder for minors to try to purchase tobacco products at any existing or newly created Chevron outlets," said Pennsylvania Attorney General Tom Corbett, whose state is among those covered by the agreement.

Chevron also agreed to require its franchises to report violations to the company and make sales of tobacco to children grounds for terminating franchising agreements.

The company already has strict requirements regarding tobacco sales at its company-operated stations but is now "enhancing" them, said Chevron spokeswoman Stephanie Price.

Similar agreements in the past have involved 7-Eleven, CVS, Wal-Mart, Walgreens and Rite Aid stores, plus all gas stations and convenience stores operating as Conoco, Phillips 66 or 76, Exxon, Mobil, BP, Amoco, and Arco, Corbett said.

The agreements cover about 70,000 retail outlets in the United States.

The states affected by the agreement are Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington and Wyoming.