In this episode, we provide a primer on tobacco-related Assurance of Voluntary Compliance (AVC), which are legally binding and enforceable agreements between companies (i.e. big tobacco retailers) and one or more states (under each state attorneys general) in which the retailer agrees to adhere to certain standards and practices to reflect their commitment to the responsible marketing of tobacco products. Common examples of these standards and practices include limiting the type and location of tobacco advertising permitted, prohibiting the sale of look-a-like products, and prohibiting self-service tobacco displays.
These provisions are designed to prevent the sale of tobacco to minors and to reduce the appeal of tobacco products and tobacco product advertising that are targeted to youth. Learn more about why AVCs are beneficial and how local and state tobacco control programs can help.
- AVC snapshots: includes the who, what, where, when, and why of each retailer agreement.
- Retailer-by-retailer summary: includes basic provisions and which states are signatories to each agreement.
- Full text of each AVC
- Fact sheet from the Public Health Law Center: >Using Retailer AVCs as a Tool in Tobacco Control
- Counter Tools’ Healthy Point of Sale Webinar: Assurances of Voluntary Compliance
- AVC Field Inspection Form
- AVC Field Inspection Form Instructions
- Want to conduct the inspections using a mobile electronic form? Contact Counter Tools!
- Dai H, Catley D. The effects of assurances of voluntary compliance on retail sales to minors in the United States: 2015-2016. Prev Med. 2018;111:410-414. doi:10.1016/j.ypmed.2017.11.036
- Krevor BS, Lieberman A, Gerlach K. Application of consumer protection authority in preventing tobacco sales to minors. Tobacco Control 2002;11:109-111
- Henriksen L, Schleicher NC, Johnson TO, Lee JGL. Assurances of Voluntary Compliance: A Regulatory Mechanism to Reduce Youth Access to E-Cigarettes and Limit Retail Tobacco Marketing. Am J Public Health. 2020;110(2):209-215. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2019.305436