The attorneys general of 28 states and territories are urging major retailers to follow the lead of CVS Caremark and stop selling tobacco products. They sent letters to Rite Aid, Walgreens, Kroger, Safeway and Walmart, which are among the nation’s biggest pharmacy retailers.
In February, CVS Caremark announced it will stop selling tobacco products by October 1. CVS, the nation’s second-largest drugstore chain, will be the first national pharmacy company to stop selling tobacco. The company has more than 7,600 retail stores. No other major retailer has indicated it will follow the lead of CVS, according to The New York Times.
“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 letters said. They did not mention the sale of e-cigarettes. The effort was led by Eric Schneiderman, Attorney General for New York, and Mike DeWine, Attorney General for Ohio.
“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,” 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.”