Attorneys general call on top U.S. retailers to drop tobacco products

Mon Mar 17, 2014 12:16pm EDT

Shelves full of cigarettes are pictured at a CVS store in the Manhattan borough of New York February 5, 2014. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

Shelves full of cigarettes are pictured at a CVS store in the Manhattan borough of New York February 5, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Carlo Allegri

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(Reuters) - A group of 28 U.S. attorneys general is urging chief executive officers of five major retailers, including Walmart, to stop selling tobacco products, saying it is contradictory to carry such items in stores that also provide health care services.

The companies receiving a letter on Sunday from the group were Wal-Mart Stores Inc, supermarket operators Kroger Co, Safeway Inc, which operate pharmacies, and drugstore chains Walgreen Co and Rite Aid Corp.

"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," New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said in a statement on Monday.

None of the retailers immediately responded to a request for comment.

Schneiderman and Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine led a group of 28 states and territories, including Arizona, Connecticut, Illinois, Puerto Rico and Guam calling for the change.

Last month, CVS Caremark Corp, which runs the No. 2 U.S. drugstore chain after Walgreen, said it would stop selling tobacco products at its 7,600 stores by October 1, making it the first national drugstore chain in the United States to take cigarettes off the shelves.

(Reporting by Phil Wahba in New York; Editing by Sofina Mirza-Reid)

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Comments (4)
MattyMo wrote:
So following this logic they should stop selling birth control because they sell diapers & baby supplies????

Mar 17, 2014 10:22am EDT  --  Report as abuse
jetnbya wrote:
I understand the idea behind this request, but why stop with tabacco products? Why not include alcohol? Alcohol kills approximately 75,000 every year. 10,000 in DUI related crashes alone; and a majority of DUI deaths are non-drinkers. Innocent bystanders who are killed by DUI drivers.

Mar 17, 2014 10:37am EDT  --  Report as abuse
TomMariner wrote:
Previous generations have used the amendment of the Constitution to express their displeasure at the offering for sale a consumable product. (The 18′th decided we were a nation of sinners, the 21′st decided the lawlessness generated showed the folly of legislating social actions.)

This bunch just uses the judicial and legal system to force their will on us. We now live in a country rules by Community Activists who can bypass every Constitutional protection by threatening an otherwise useful business — and even though legally a citizen, the business has no recourse. In addition to this direct threat against big box stores on the stupid pretext of health in the same facility, we have a mayor and beer companies who are pressured into trying to destroy a national pride parade by … yet another Community Activist group.

If we are going to continue this way, why don’t we just save all that money paying elected representatives, their staffs and local offices and let self-governing single-issue groups be our contacts.

Mar 17, 2014 11:44am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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