Attorneys general from 28 states and territories are encouraging the CEOs of retail chains with pharmacies, including Walmart, Walgreens, Rite Aid, Safeway and Kroger, to cease tobacco sales in the interest of public health.
“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,” said Ohio attorney general Mike DeWine, who along with New York attorney general Eric Schneiderman, has spearheaded the letter-writing campaign. “The health of our kids is just too important.”
According to the letters, “There is a contradiction in having these dangerous and devastating tobacco products on the shelves of a retail chain that services health care needs. The availability of such products in a retail store that also serves as a pharmacy normalizes tobacco use; furthermore, selling tobacco products in the same store as smoking-cessation products is likely to increase impulse tobacco purchases among those trying to quite and undermines their efforts.”
After CVS announced that it would exit the category earlier this year, Walgreens said it was evaluating tobacco sales. Walgreens “will continue to evaluate the choice of products our customers want, while also helping to educate them and providing smoking cessation products and alternatives that help reduce the demand for tobacco products,” said spokesperson Michael Polzin, last month.
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