SAN ANTONIO (Legal Newsline) - Gas station chain Valero has reached a settlement with 38 states and is implementing procedures the states say will curb tobacco sales to minors.
The settlement is part of an ongoing effort by the states that has led to agreements with other retailers, including 7-Eleven, CVS and all stations operating under the Exxon, Mobil and Chevron brand names.
Valero owns 1,000 convenience stores and 4,000 franchise outlets.
"Studies show that state tobacco control programs are effective at cutting the number of smokers," Pennsylvania Attorney General Tom Corbett said.
"By requiring companies to comply with the law and limiting access to cigarettes, we help stop kids from smoking."
Under the agreement, Valero will instruct clerks to check I.D. for customers who appear younger than 27 years old and use security video tapes to make sure clerks follow through.
In addition to Pennsylvania, the states that signed the agreement are: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wyoming and the District of Columbia.
"Tobacco use remains this country's leading preventable cause of death," Corbett said.
"And because nicotine addiction and smoking-related diseases cost our state's health care system an additional $5.19 billion annually, every child that doesn't become a smoker is a health victory, both for the child and for the state."
From Legal Newsline: Reach John O'Brien by e-mail at email@example.com.