The CVS Pharmacy chain is joining the ranks of 11 other companies in Florida that signed settlement agreements with the attorney general's office, pledging to take proactive steps to cut down the sale of cigarettes to minors.
Florida Attorney General Charlie Crist said the idea is a good concept, in that when settlements like this have been reached in the past, the state makes a difference in cutting down the sale of tobacco products to underage buyers.
A CVS corporate spokesperson said the company already keeps all tobacco products behind store counters. Employees are required to ask for proof of age and have a mechanism designed to lock registers if age is not verified.
Under the terms of the new agreement, CVS will now have to overhaul employee training procedures statewide.
CVS administrators said in a statement, "The new agreement will result in enhanced training of CVS employees nationwide for tobacco-related issues. Combined with the policies in place, we hope and expect that the result will be even greater compliance with laws banning purchase of tobacco by minors."
Crist has targeted big-time corporations like Wal-Mart, 7-Eleven, Walgreens and gas station chains with similar settlement agreements. All of them to date have signed the agreements, some of them after threat of lawsuit.
"We believe that they are in good faith entering into this," Crist said. "We applaud their efforts to curtail the incidents of cigarette sales to minors in the state and throughout country and we believe we are on a very good path with a very good corporate partner."