BP Reaches to Revamp Oregon Tobacco Sales Policy

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BP Reaches to Revamp Oregon Tobacco Sales Policy

PORTLAND, Ore. -- BP Plc formalized an agreement with Oregon Attorney General Hardy Myers in Marion County Circuit Court yesterday in which the retailer agreed to change its operating procedures to reduce tobacco sales to minors at 72 ARCO gas stations and convenience stores in the state.

The Assurance of Voluntary Compliance, which admits no law violation, is part of an ongoing, multi-state enforcement effort with officials from Arizona, California, Nevada and Washington. Previous agreements apply to tobacco sales at chains such as Exxon, Mobil, BP, Amoco and Walgreens.

"We will not tolerate tobacco products being sold to our children," Myers said. "This effort focuses on retailers with high rates of tobacco sales to minors, which is illegal in Oregon. We are pleased that BP adopted policies to prevent this happening to our youth."

The agreement requires BP and all its ARCO outlets to:
* Prohibit the use of self-service displays of cigarettes including the use of vending machines to sell tobacco products.
* Prohibit the sale of smoking paraphernalia to minors.
* Check the identification of any person purchasing tobacco products when the person appears to be under age 35.
* Hire an independent entity to conduct annual, random compliance checks of 50 percent of its owned and operated outlets.
* Transition to cash registers programmed to prompt ID checks on tobacco sales.
* Train employees on state laws and company policies regarding tobacco sales to minors.

The agreement also encourages ARCO outlets that are owned or operated by third-parties to comply with Oregon's state laws governing sales to minors. BP will notify these operators that violation of state laws could constitute grounds for termination of their right to operate the outlet under the ARCO brand name. BP, in future contracts with these parties, must require compliance with state laws and offer them the opportunity to participate in its mystery shopper program.