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State Attorneys General Ask Drug Stores To Ban Tobacco Sales

Attorneys general from 28 states and U.S. territories have written to the chief executives of major U.S. pharmacy chains urging them to stop selling cigarettes and other tobacco products.

Following the decision by CVS Caremark to stop selling tobacco in its stores, the chains Wal-Mart, Walgreens, Rite-Aid, Safeway and Kroger are being asked to follow suit. Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine says voluntary decisions by the national retailers will help keep tobacco away from youths. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman says pharmacies send "a mixed message" by promoting themselves as wellness centers while continuing to sell tobacco products. According to Schneiderman's office, the attributable health care costs of smoking are at least $289 billion annually.