Attorney General wants pharmacies to ditch tobacco

Posted at: 03/17/2014 5:09 PM
Updated at: 03/17/2014 7:59 PM
By: WNYT Staff

New York’s attorney general wants all pharmacies to stop selling tobacco products.

Eric Schneiderman and Ohio's attorney general are leading a charge with the support of 28 other states.

The AGs wrote to the CEOs of Walmart, Walgreens, Rite Aid, Safeway and Kroger.

They're pushing the stores to follow in the footsteps of CVS.

The chain announced last month, it will remove all tobacco products from its shelves by October 1.

The attorney general says tobacco-related disease caused more that 480,000 deaths in the U.S. last year.

He thinks it's a contradiction to have tobacco products in stores that market themselves as a source of health care.

"Pharmacies and drug stores are increasingly marketing themselves as centers for healthcare. They now have doctors in them. They now give flu shots. (That) sends a terrible message by also selling tobacco products," said Schneiderman.

Schneiderman also says the fact that these stores profit from the sale of tobacco products is completely inconsistent with their efforts to expand their role as health care providers.