Inside This Issue - News
Pharmacy chains pressured to drop tobacco
April 7th, 2014
NEW YORK – The attorneys general of 28 states and territories are urging the chief executive officers of Walgreen Co., Rite Aid, Corp., Walmart, Kroger Co. and Safeway Inc. to remove tobacco products from their stores.
The attorneys general have sent letters to the retailers’ CEOs calling on the retail pharmacy operators to follow the example set by CVS Caremark Corp., which announced earlier this year that it will end all sales of tobacco products in its more than 7,600 stores by October 1.
Commending CVS for its actions, the attorneys general note that it is contradictory to sell tobacco products in stores that also provide health care services.
“Pharmacies and drug stores, which increasingly market themselves as a source for community health care, send a mixed message by continuing to sell deadly tobacco products,” New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said in a statement. “The fact that these stores profit from the sale of cigarettes and tobacco must take a backseat to the health of New Yorkers and customers across the country. I urge these companies to do the right thing and remove tobacco products from store shelves.”
In the letters the attorneys general point out that the availability of tobacco products in a retail store that also serves as a pharmacy normalizes the use of tobacco. Furthermore, they say, selling tobacco products in the same store as smoking cessation items is likely to increase impulse tobacco purchases among those trying to quit and undermines their efforts.
“My fellow attorneys general and I are asking these national retailers to take an additional step forward in keeping tobacco products away from youth by voluntarily not selling them in their stores with pharmacies,” added Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine. “The health of our kids is just too important.”