DALLAS, April 24, 2019 – American Heart Association CEO Nancy Brown issued the following statement following the announcements that Walgreens and Rite Aid would limit sales of tobacco products to customers aged 21 and over.
“The announcements by Walgreens and Rite Aid add to the momentum behind efforts to curb tobacco sales to minors. We welcome their decision, and we would challenge them to take the next step and remove all tobacco products from their stores. Pharmacies are, by definition, supposed to promote good health, and selling products that cause disease and death is antithetical to that mission. We urge all pharmacies and pharmacy chains to stop selling tobacco products for good. CVS took that bold step in 2014, and others should immediately follow suit.
“At the same time, federal and state governments must do their part by enacting strong policies that help tobacco users quit and prevent others from ever using tobacco products. We call on Congress to pass legislation without industry-backed exceptions that sets the minimum sales age for tobacco products at 21. We also commend the Food and Drug Administration for its efforts to ensure retailers and other businesses do not sell tobacco to minors. We urge the FDA to take action to prevent tobacco companies from selling flavored tobacco products that appeal to children, prohibit marketing practices that appeal to kids and suspend online sales of products including e-cigarettes until effective age verification mechanisms are established.”
About the American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is a leading force for a world of longer, healthier lives. With nearly a century of lifesaving work, the Dallas-based association is dedicated to ensuring equitable health for all. We are a trustworthy source empowering people to improve their heart health, brain health and well-being. We collaborate with numerous organizations and millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, advocate for stronger public health policies and share lifesaving resources and information. Connect with us on heart.org, Facebook, Twitter or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.