Columbus – Attorney General Mike DeWine today signed an Assurance of Voluntary Compliance agreement negotiated with Circle K convenience stores to enhance efforts to reduce tobacco sales to minors.
"Keeping cigarettes out of the hands of kids is very important. I fought for years in the U.S. Senate to enable the FDA to regulate tobacco. This agreement with Circle K furthers this important work," said Attorney General Mike DeWine. "By carefully checking identification and changing marketing displays in stores, we can help limit access to tobacco products for those under age."
The agreement, negotiated by the attorney general's office, 38 other states, the District of Columbia and Circle K includes these provisions:
- Circle K employees will check for valid identification of anyone who reasonably appears to be under the age of 30.
- Self-service displays for all tobacco products, the sale of smoking paraphernalia to minors, the use of vending machines, the sale of tobacco look-alike products, and the distribution of free samples on store property are prohibited.
- In-store advertising for tobacco will be limited. Pricing will not be displayed in a format appealing to youth, nor shall it be placed near candy, toys or other items typically purchased by or for children.
- If a company store is within 500 feet of a playground, elementary or secondary school, signs advertising tobacco will not be displayed outside or facing outward on store windows.
- Circle K will conduct compliance checks of the AVC and youth access laws at 500 stores every six months.
The agreement applies to Circle K corporate-owned stores, representing about 75 percent of the chain. Circle K will also take steps to encourage compliance at its franchisee-owned stores. And about 10 percent of the compliance checks Circle K will conduct will be of franchisees. In Ohio, there are more than 300 corporate- and franchisee-owned Circle K stores, and the company's Mac's stores, also part of this agreement.
This is one of several AVC agreements that have been negotiated with retailers by the National Association of Attorneys General Tobacco Project Retailing Working Group, of which Ohio is an active member.
Lisa Hackley 614-466-3840
Mark Moretti 614-466-3840