AG Schneiderman seeks end to pharmacy tobacco sales

Mar 18, 2014

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Attorneys General from more than two dozen states and U.S. territories are pushing pharmacies to end cigarette sales nationwide.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman says pharmacies should be "curing illness, not causing it."
Credit WBFO File Photo

Schneiderman and his counterparts have written to the chief executives of Wal-Mart, Walgreens and other major pharmacy chains, urging them to stop selling cigarettes and other tobacco products.

The effort follows CVS Caremark's recent decision to stop selling tobacco in its stores.

With more pharmacies and drug stores marketing themselves as centers for healthcare, Schneiderman says it sends a terrible message by also selling tobacco products.  

"We know the dangers of tobacco use. We have all the data and statistics about how many deaths it causes, how much suffering it causes, for smokers and those who are effected by secondhand smoke a like," Schneiderman said.

"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. As people about preventing injuries and curing illness not causing it."   

Schneiderman says he's pretty confident that at least some of the major pharmacies will follow the CVS example.

According to the state Attorney General's office, the attributable health care costs of smoking are at least $289 billion annually.