CDC Study: Two-Thirds of U.S. Adults… | Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
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CDC Study: Two-Thirds of U.S. Adults Support Prohibiting Tobacco Sales in Pharmacies

Statement of Matthew L. Myers, President, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
September 01, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Two-thirds of U.S. adults (66.1 percent), including nearly half of current cigarette smokers, support prohibiting tobacco sales in pharmacies, according to a new study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and published today in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Support for ending tobacco sales in pharmacies came from 72 percent of never smokers, 66 percent of former smokers and 47 percent of current smokers.

This study shows that most Americans recognize the fundamental conflict between pharmacies’ role in promoting health and the sale of tobacco products that kill nearly half a million Americans each year. It’s time for pharmacies and other responsible retailers to recognize this conflict as well. We again call on retailers, especially those with pharmacies such as Walmart and Walgreens, to join CVS Health in ending tobacco sales. By doing so, retailers can reduce the availability of tobacco products, send the right message to kids about the dangers of tobacco use and support tobacco users in their efforts to quit.

Their continuing failure to do so should prompt state and local governments to prohibit tobacco sales in pharmacies. According to the study, 134 municipalities in California and Massachusetts had enacted tobacco-free pharmacy laws as of January 1, 2016.

Especially during this back-to-school shopping season, we also urge parents and other consumers concerned about health to patronize retailers that don’t sell tobacco products. To help shoppers find tobacco-free retailers near them, the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids has created a website – –with an interactive map that pinpoints the locations of tobacco-free retailers across the country.

Despite enormous progress in reducing smoking, tobacco use remains the No. 1 preventable cause of death in the United States and costs our nation about $170 billion a year in health care expenses. By going tobacco-free, pharmacies and other retailers can play a critical role in protecting our children and saving lives.