(The following is a reformatted version of a press release
issued by the Office of Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman
and received via electronic mail. The release was confirmed by
the sender.) 
March 17, 2014 
A.G. Schneiderman And Ohio A.G. Ask Wal-Mart, Walgreens, Rite-Aid, Safeway And Kroger Pharmacies To Follow CVS’ Lead 
Schneiderman: Dangerous And Devastating Tobacco Products
Shouldn’t Be On The Shelves Of Stores That Serve Health Care
NEW YORK - Attorney General Eric Schneiderman today joined Ohio
Attorney General Mike DeWine in leading an effort to persuade
the largest pharmacy chains in the United States to stop selling
tobacco products. Led by Attorney General Schneiderman and
Attorney General DeWine, the Attorneys General of 28 states and
territories have written to the CEOs of Wal-Mart, Walgreens
(which also operates Duane Reade stores), Rite-Aid, Safeway and
Kroger, asking them to remove any and all tobacco products from
their shelves. In addition, 32 Attorneys General have commended
CVS Caremark for its recent decision to stop selling tobacco in
its stores. 
“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,” said
Attorney General Schneiderman. “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.” 
“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,” Attorney General DeWine said.
“The health of our kids is just too important.” 
Tobacco-related disease is the leading cause of preventable
death in the United States, causing more than 480,000 deaths in
the last year alone - more than AIDS, alcohol, illegal drug use,
car accidents and firearm-related deaths combined.  Since 1965,
more than 20 million Americans have died prematurely as a result
of smoking. The devastating health effects of these tobacco
products have been well documented for more than 50 years, since
the 1964 Surgeon General’s report on the health consequences of
Furthermore, health care costs and productivity losses
attributable to smoking cost the nation at least $289 billion
each year. Almost 90% of all adult smokers start smoking by 18
years of age. “Big Tobacco” relies on getting young people
addicted to cigarettes and keeping them as life-long smokers. 
Attorney General Schneiderman has successfully undertaken a
number of efforts to keep tobacco out of the hands of young New
Yorkers. Under his leadership, the state’s Tobacco Compliance
Bureau has cracked down on websites illegally selling
cigarettes, which provide teens with easy access to tobacco, and
shut down so-called “roll your own” cigarette shops in New York
City, which were popular among teenagers and young adults. The
Attorney General’s Criminal Prosecution Bureau has also taken
down a cigarette trafficking ring that operated up and down the
Eastern Seaboard. 
In 1997, New York joined other states in suing the major tobacco
companies for the harm their products caused. To resolve these
lawsuits, the states entered into the 1998 Tobacco Master
Settlement Agreement, the most significant public health
agreement of our time. 
Click the links for copies of the letters sent to Kroger, Rite
Aid, Safeway, Walgreens and Wal-Mart, as well as the letter
commending CVS for its actions. 
New York City Press Office / 212.416.8060
Albany Press Office / 518.473.5525
Twitter: @AGSchneiderman 
(bjh) NY 
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