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Retailers with Pharmacies: Halt All Tobacco Sales, Says American Lung Association

Chicago, IL (February 5, 2015)

The American Lung Association calls for a halt to the sale of all tobacco products at all retailers with pharmacies. Today marks the one-year anniversary of the CVS Health announcement that it would remove tobacco products at all CVS/pharmacy locations across the United States.

"We urge all retailers, especially those with pharmacies, to move quickly to end tobacco sales in their stores," said American Lung Association National President and CEO Harold Wimmer. "Community pharmacies together with other leading retailers with pharmacies including CVS/pharmacy, Target and Wegmans do not sell tobacco products and it is time for other retailers to act."

"The sale of tobacco products—the number one cause of preventable death and disease—is fundamentally inconsistent with the healing mission of a pharmacy," Wimmer said. "Tobacco has no place in any healthcare setting, including pharmacies."

Tobacco use kills almost half a million Americans each year, and impacts almost every system in the body, causing lung cancer, heart attacks, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and even sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

"The American Lung Association is committed to ending the tobacco epidemic in the United States. We applaud all retailers that have eliminated the sale of cigarettes and other tobacco products in their stores, and we strongly urge other retailers with pharmacies to do the same," he said.

Every two and a half minutes, someone in the U.S. is told that he or she has lung cancer, a disease that has one of the lowest survival rates compared to colon, breast and prostate cancers.

"Retailers with pharmacies play a unique role in promoting health and well-being, and the sales of tobacco products in their stores is an inherent conflict of this mission," Wimmer said. "The American Lung Association is committed to a tobacco-free America, and ending the sale of tobacco at retailers with pharmacies is an important step."

Join with the American Lung Association in the #MakeTobaccoHistory movement to urge retailers with pharmacies in your area to stop selling tobacco.

For media interested in speaking with an expert about lung health, tobacco use and tobacco policies, contact the American Lung Association at media@lung.org or 312-801-7628.

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About the American Lung Association The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease, through research, education and advocacy. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to improve the air we breathe; to reduce the burden of lung disease on individuals and their families; and to eliminate tobacco use and tobacco-related diseases.  For more information about the American Lung Association, a holder of the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Guide Seal, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org.

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