Bill Prohibiting Tobacco Sales in Pharmacies Voted Down in Assembly

Important Measure Can Still Become Law, Senate Must Act

(April 21, 2009)

Statement from the American Lung Association in New York

This afternoon, the New York State Assembly Health Committee voted down legislation (S.1234/A.5890) which would prohibit the sale of tobacco products in pharmacies and retail establishments that contain pharmacies. The American Lung Association in New York is committed to reducing the prevalence of smoking in New York State by making smoking inconvenient and expensive, and we support this legislation as it will help achieve this goal.

The New York State Senate should not be deterred from today's disappointing action in the Assembly.

It is imperative that the Senate take up this measure, as pharmacies are in the business of helping make people better. They should not be pushing an addictive drug that makes people much worse.

While Wegman's supermarkets and some independently-owned stores in New York have discontinued selling tobacco, the vast majority of chain pharmacies continue to peddle this deadly product. The corporations that own these chains have chosen to be in the pharmacy business - they market themselves as places that promote health and well-being.

Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of death and disease in New York, killing nearly 25,000 New Yorkers a year. For more information, or to view our complete New York State tobacco control report card, click here.