Kroger to target young smokers

Kroger Co. under will make it tougher for minors to buy cigarettes at its stores under a settlement reached with attorneys general from 42 states.

The agreement with Kroger is the 11th reached by the multi-state enforcement effort. Previous agreements include all 7-Eleven, CVS, Wal-Mart, Walgreens and Rite Aid stores and all gasoline stations and convenience stores operating as Conoco, Phillips 66, 76, Exxon, Mobil, BP, Amoco, ARCO and Chevron.

Under the agreement, all Kroger stores are required to: Check the identification of any person purchasing tobacco products who appears to be under the age of 27, and accept only valid government-issued photo IDs as proof of age; Hire an independent entity to conduct random compliance checks of Kroger stores; limit tobacco signage to brand names, logos and pricing and ensure that all tobacco advertising inside the store is confined to the area where tobacco products are sold; and train employees on state and local laws and company policies regarding tobacco sales to minors, including explaining the health-related reasons for laws that restrict youth access to tobacco.

Kroger also agreed to pay $325,000 for costs incurred by the states in the investigation.

Michigan’s Attorney General Mike Cox was among those a party to the settlement.

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