Continued from page 1

In a statement Thursday, Richmond, Va.-based Altria Group Inc., parent company of the nation’s largest cigarette maker, Philip Morris USA, which makes the top-selling Marlboro brand, said it agrees that kids shouldn’t use tobacco products and that it markets its products to adult tobacco users through age-verified direct communications and at retail stores.

“Underage tobacco use is a difficult issue, and there is not a simple solution,” the company said. “We agree there’s still more work to be done.”