NY, Ohio AGs Lead Appeal to Pharmacies to Drop Tobacco

Monday, 17 Mar 2014 11:15 AM

By Melanie Batley

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New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is launching a joint effort with Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine to persuade the nation's largest pharmacy chains to stop selling tobacco products.

Schneiderman and DeWine, along with attorneys general of 28 states and territories have written to the CEOs of Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Walgreen Co., Rite-Aid Corp., Safeway Inc., and Kroger Co. asking them to remove tobacco products from their shelves and have commended CVS Caremark for doing so.

"Pharmacies and drugstores, which increasingly market themselves as a source for community healthcare, send a mixed message by continuing to sell deadly tobacco products," Schneiderman, a Democrat, said in a statement.

"The fact that these stores profit from the sale of cigarettes and tobacco must take a back seat 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."

DeWine, a Republican who has served in both the U.S. House and Senate, added, "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."

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