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Cumberland Farms Joins the “NO BUTS” Program
October 7, 2008
Maine Attorney General Steve Rowe and the Partnership for a Tobacco Free Maine announced Cumberland Farms stores in Maine are joining the NO BUTS responsible tobacco retailer program. The program provides retailers with the materials they need to properly train employees to prevent underage tobacco sales, while stressing the underlying compelling health reasons for restricting sales of tobacco to teens. Participating stores can qualify for compliance credits to recognize their efforts to prevent the sale of tobacco to minors.
Attorney General Steve Rowe said, “We welcome Cumberland Farms into the program and encourage all retailers to participate. Maine continues to be a national leader in preventing underage smoking and NO BUTS has played a large part in our efforts.”
NO BUTS, Blocking Underage Tobacco Sales was first launched in 2001 with 120 stores participating. Since that time, the number of stores using the NO BUTS program has grown, and with the addition of Cumberland Farms, 729 Maine retailers are now enrolled.
John Archard, the Tobacco Enforcement Coordinator for the Office of the Attorney General, added, “Since 1997 high school smoking rates in Maine have declined 64%, and part of the credit for that goes to stores that follow the law and refuse to sell tobacco to minors, but we still have more than 5% of stores selling to kids and we must do better. By participating in the NO BUTS program stores will help meet that goal.”
Cumberland Farms operates 41 stores in Maine and by October 15th all will have fully implemented the program. The NO BUTS program will compliment Cumberland Farms’ existing tobacco training program. Jeff Cutting, Cumberland Farms’ General Manager for the Division including Maine, said “As responsible corporate citizens, we recognize the importance of working with the state of Maine to prevent tobacco sales to minors.”
The Partnership for a Tobacco Free Maine sponsors the NO BUTS program and its Healthy Maine Partnerships (HMP) are supporting local merchants in their service areas. Since May of this year the efforts of the HMPs have resulted in 50 independent stores joining the NO BUTS program.
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NEWS RELEASE October 7, 2008 John Archard, Tobacco Enforcement Coordinator (207) 626-8837