U.S. Senators to Walmart: Quit Tobacco Sales

February 18, 2014

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Seven U.S. senators have written to Walmart urging the retail giant to follow the example of CVS Caremark and end sales of cigarettes and other tobacco products.

“We write to urge Walmart, as the number one retailer of cigarettes in the country, to stop selling tobacco products in all of its stores,” the senators wrote. “We recognize the legality of selling and profiting from tobacco products; however, Walmart’s position as the nation’s largest retailer of any kind puts your company in a unique position to contribute to the health and well-being of all Americans.”

The letter was signed by Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa, Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, along with Sens. Dick Durbin of Illinois, Barbara Boxer of California, Sherrod Brown of Ohio, Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut and Jack Reed of Rhode Island.

These senators, along with Sen. Jay Rockefeller, also sent letters last week to Walgreens, Rite Aid and the National Association of Chain Drug Stores urging other drug stores to join CVS in ending tobacco sales.

CVS has garnered widespread praise from health leaders, President Obama and other elected officials, and newspaper editorials since its February 4 announcement that it would stop selling tobacco products.