DeWine spearheads national effort calling on major pharmacies to stop selling tobacco products

Wal-Mart, Walgreens, Rite-Aid, Safeway and Kroger are encouraged to follow example of CVS.
Norwalk Reflector Staff
Mar 18, 2014


Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine on Monday joined New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman in leading an effort to convince the largest pharmacy chains in the United States to stop selling tobacco products.

Led by DeWine and Schneiderman, the attorneys general of 28 states and territories have written to the CEOs of Wal-Mart, Walgreens, Rite-Aid, Safeway and Kroger, asking them to remove any and all tobacco products from their shelves. In addition, 32 Attorneys General have commended CVS Caremark for its recent decision to stop selling tobacco in its stores.

“My fellow attorneys general and I are asking these national retailers to take an additional step forward in keeping tobacco products away from youth by voluntarily not selling them in their stores with pharmacies,” DeWine said. “The health of our kids is just too important.”

“Pharmacies and drug stores, which increasingly market themselves as a source for community health care, send a mixed message by continuing to sell deadly tobacco products,” Schneiderman said. “The fact that these stores profit from the sale of cigarettes and tobacco must take a backseat to the health of New Yorkers and customers across the country. I urge these companies to do the right thing and remove tobacco products from store shelves.”

Tobacco-related disease is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States, causing over 480,000 deaths in the last year alone – more than AIDS, alcohol, illegal drug use, car accidents and firearm-related deaths combined.  Since 1965, over 20 million Americans have died prematurely as a result of smoking. The devastating health effects of these tobacco products have been well documented for over 50 years, since the 1964 Surgeon General’s report on the Health Consequences of Smoking.

Furthermore, health care costs and productivity losses attributable to smoking cost the nation at least $289 billion each year. Almost 90% of all adult smokers start smoking by 18 years of age. ‘Big Tobacco’ relies on getting young people addicted to cigarettes and keeping them as life-long smokers.

DeWine has a long record of protecting Ohio kids from underage tobacco use. He sponsored legislation granting the FDA authority over the marketing of tobacco products to kids when he was a U.S. Senator. As Ohio attorney general, he led a coalition of attorneys general who urged the FDA to regulate e-cigarettes.  He has also supported legislation in the Ohio General Assembly to ban the sale of e-cigarettes to those under age 18. Gov. John Kasich recently signed this measure into law.

Ohio joined other states in suing the major tobacco companies for the harm their products caused. To resolve these lawsuits, the states entered into the 1998 Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement, the most significant public health agreement of our time.

Copies of the letters sent by the Attorneys General are available on the Ohio Attorney General's website.



He's got time for this but no time to bring charges or at least put pressure on the powers to be to have Patrolman Vitte answer charges of child corruption etc etc.


there goes his "after sex" smoke..

Dr. Information

And they want to legalize weed. Duh


First off, I do not and never have smoked tobacco.
Tobacco is a legal product!
The government gets more then the companies that produce it from the taxes.
When you try to prevent the sale of any legal product you are in fact trying to backdoor illegalizing it. If they do that to one item, WHATS NEXT????
There are places that have virtually banned tobacco that are legalizing pot. HYPOCRISY!!!!


Who are these elected officials think they are?
Always thinking/believing with a wave of a wand they have the power to tell individuals or businesses what to do...?? or else????

I am NOT at all happy with the direction this country is headed or the way the "ruling class" have so many citizens convinced all this control is for the better.

Really are you ...

Vote of no confidence for pretty much all governing officials. They are destroying the American way of life. From land of the free to land of the controlled.


I hardly think that a group of state officials writing a letter asking companies if they would consider the possibility of stopping the sale of a deadly product a destruction of the American way of life that is turning us into the "land of the controlled"


YES it is! The mere ego of EVEN "thinking" a letter from them should put up flags.
Come on wake-up. Who are they??
Are you not capable to purchase/sell or not to purchase/sell a product as how you see fit or only with the direction of some ego-maniac public official?? Why would a person (government) even think somehow they are the know all be all.
What kind of a so-called FREE American feels his/her decision is best serve by another?
A follower
A SHEEP follows.. are you not smart enough to make your own decision??
That is what is ENDANGERED.


With that logic every drug should be legal for public use.


Now you are crossing the line of "endangering others" with your so called legalized all drugs..where do you come from??
See, people like you think that i don't like a nation of laws..
Well i do. But over reach is another thing.
If an action of another could or would cause harm to another as laws were intended! GREAT
But laws that pad one's pocket book or squeeze the citizen for the mere sake of control.. Is over-reach. Pure and simple communist authoritative action..
Remember the followers of Hitler.. Knew he would kill and slaughter. He told them he would and they like that idea.. Just some didn't know it would mean them.
There used to be a saying
Lead, follow, or get out of the way.
Today government means. American Gov is the leader. Follow, get in line, become depend or be crushed.
The reason i added American to the word government. Because look around the globe.. That is the mindset American government gives EVERYWHERE..
Who made the American political class ideas the only "right" one's?
The End.


Can everyone, on every side of the political aisle, please stop comparing everything to Hitler and the Nazi's? It's a gross and insulting comparison. We are debating an article about deadly tobacco products and some highly placed state officials' suggestion that large retail chains stop selling it. A suggestion is not a law, or a mandate. No one is required to do anything. These companies are well within their rights to completely ignore it. In no way should anyone make the jump from that to the Holocaust.


Look around........
See any comparison?
History has always had tyrants, dictators, leaders of one nation wanting what another has, and back room deals for one's own gain..
Freedom is falling by the way side all in the name of what ever is popular at the time..
and where to go then??? But stand and fight. I will fight to end it all now. I am done.
I've seen a big difference in just my yrs. as an adult. and what chance do my children have?
Keep on your blinders, mine are off. and i will voice it loudly.. Wake Up!


If you're going to make that argument you should really include some evidence to back it up. Just saying "Look around" means nothing to anyone.


Simple point.. Money and personal gain over safety from your great saviors.
Why is it if i haul a load 1,000 lbs over the legal limit. I get socked with a $1,000 fine.. All in the name of safe roads and structure cost. But yet buy a permit (pay a tax) for a small fee ahead of time, I can run as heavy as i want (overloaded) anytime.
Let's talk about another new dictated law that padded the pocket of someone.. REQUIREMENT for all CDL holders to talk on a hands free device. 1st NOT the public voter driving in cars, only truckers, and may i ask you.?
Do you really think a driver involved in a conversation is paying anymore attention to the road via hands free as to holding it to his ear?
So is it a safety thing or making people buy devices.$$$
Simple let's talk about seatbelts..In an 18-wheeler, short of running into an embankment, I am not going to get hurt, yet if twice caught i will lose my job for a period of time. But i can ride a motorcycle with NO helmet, wearing only shorts and flip flops and that is OK!
Safety or did some politician get his back pocket padded by lobbyist?
Want to put up a deck in your back yard.. Sure after you pay for an inspection, go over size and $pay$ fees. (which is just a way to get another voter a public job)
Don't you see i could go on and on..
Wanta fish. Sure, pay for a license, then only so many of this fish, so many of that. Over this size but under that size... 30 perch limit west of Huron.. 40 east?? who the heck came up with that? except some politician bought and paid for by a lobbyist. Where is the logic?

So yes a law maker even thinking he should be able to use mere persuasion, to suggest ("TELL"under breathe) a business what to sell and not to sell is pure over reach. Because what happens when the business doesn't follow?? "look around" many of businesses that just wouldn't play ball are taxed or violation'd out.

and you say no comparison?


First off, I completely agree with you that there are corrupt politicians who line their pockets with money from lobbyists. That's why so many people are fighting for campaign finance reform and trying to reverse the disastrous Citizens United ruling. I also agree that we could do a lot to simplify the bureaucracy, but the problem tends to be in the execution, not the policy. Now on to your points...

1. A $1,000 fine does sound a little excessive, but if it's something that can be avoiding by paying a "small fee" then it would probably be best to just pay that. Heavy loads do wear on infrastructure more than someone in a Honda Civic so that's not completely unreasonable to pay a small fee, but I can also see that it might cause problems.

2. I would support a law requiring all drivers to use hands free devices. It's not the conversation that's distracting, it's the holding of a phone and switching hands and trying to balance it on your ear while turning. It's bad enough if someone in a small car loses control while talking on a cell phone, but someone driving a semi is putting a lot more people at risk if they lose control. Just because you wouldn't get hurt very easily in a crash doesn't mean other people around you wouldn't.

3. I also would support a law requiring the use of helmets and proper attire while riding on a motorcycle. Seat belts and helmets save lives and I think that personal freedom is a stupid reason to put your life at risk. If it takes a ticket to get you to wear a seat belt then so be it. An easy way to avoid the fee is to buckle up. It takes about 2 seconds. It's similar to some people in Texas bragging about the fact that they love freedom so much they refuse to have laws against texting while driving. Usually the people killed in those accidents are the people hit by the person texting. There's no freedom in that. Also, I don't think there is a lot money coming from lobbyists pushing a requirement to wear seat belts. No one profits from that.

4. I would imagine that some inspections are mostly unnecessary, especially if the person doing the construction has a background in that, but let's pretend for a moment that the inspection reveals a safety hazard you were previously unaware of. Not everyone knows what they are doing when they decide to build a deck and you can't just pick and choose who to inspect so everyone gets it.

While you raise some valid questions that I'm sure we could explore in much greater detail I still don't see a reason to fear for my personal freedom. There's no need to panic. This country has survived a lot worse than fees for overloaded trucks.


let's go off your view.
When there is something one "should do".. common sense or even logical.
You feel it needs to be law and obeyed.. For the better..
Then why does every "good idea" need to be made forced.. by law?
If it was such a good "idea" wouldn't people just do it?

Now with that thinking.. I feel people should not eat cookies, cakes, chip snacks or drink sugary soda..
Absolutely NO health benefit. .. can not dispute?
Especially, when not only is the person on the public dole for free health care, but also those foods deemed unhealthy, are purchased thru a public funded snap program.
It should be prohibited, law should be written..
and now with your thinking the common sense and logic will win.. Right?
Then my pledge to save the human race and high cost of health care is to close Kraft foods, Nestle, Hersey, Coca Cola, Pepsico (one of the same frito lays).. etc. or tax them for all the harm they cause till they simply go out of business (like your leader has been trying to do to the energy sector)
All in the name of the "for the good of the people".
and do not say i am way off base.. Tit for tat PERIOD!

Really are you ...

This land that we call the United States has used tobacco since the pioneers and Indians. The Indians loaded their peace pipes with tobacco. So what is it coming to? Push out tobacco products and vote in marijuana. Push out our jobs and roll in the government support. Continuous improvement in life is what we should all be striving for. Not this BS the current government has been serving us. Soon we will have highly educated burger flippers. No new business, innovation suppression. Government is taking, or trying to take, away all kinds of liberties and freedoms from us. But let us enjoy some of the simpler things in life. No wait take our cigarettes and tax the snot out of something else. Maybe a little over the top, but enjoy.


Those same people who grew and smoked tobacco also grew and smoked cannabis including George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin. Also, let's be completely honest about why it was made illegal in the first place. It had nothing to do with it being a dangerous drug that was putting people at risk. It had everything to do with a fear of Mexican's moving into California in the early 1900's and bringing marijuana with them. (Enter the film Reefer Madness) It also had everything to do with William Randolph Hearst investing heavily in the timber market to make the paper for his many newspapers and not wanting hemp paper to be competition for him.

When Nixon was president a study was commissioned and filled with anti-drug Nixon appointees who, after completion of the study, reported unexpectedly that "[its] relative potential for harm to the vast majority of individual users and its actual impact on society does not justify a social policy designed to seek out and firmly punish those who use it." Nixon didn't like that though and he started the "War on Drugs" that has become nothing more than a colossal waste of time, money, and police resources.


If you go down that road... The Grandpa Kennedy made his family dynasty during the prohibition. Smuggling booze from Canada.
Look it up!
SO with all them facts.
Why don't you feel Obama is filling his cabinet with people of his same idealistic mindset and filling us full of lies and propaganda???
I bet you believe he would never do that...He is the savior right????


Actually no, I don't think he is the savior. I think he has done some good things and some stupid things just like every president and politician before him. Do not put me in your box labeled "liberal" based on this very short conversation we've been having. It's a stereotype and small-minded. As for your other points, they really have nothing to do with this debate we've been having so I don't know what kind of response you're trying to get out of me.

And for the record, I do not believe that every drug should be legalized. That's just what it sounded like was being suggested.


Re: "I do not believe that every drug should be legalized."

Shouldn't people have control over their own bodies? Why should the State be involved?

I prefer decriminalized, not "legalized."

See Portugal's experience at decriminalization:

Usage actually went down.


Re: "like every president and politician before him (Obama)."

Playing the moral equivalency game doesn't cut it. It's a matter of degrees.

Pres. Obama is the most inexperienced and incompetent POTUS yet.


There is a big difference between marijuana and cigarettes. While marijuana has proven medicinal benefits, is not addictive, and (when consumed in ways other than smoking) does not cause the same problems in the lungs; tobacco products are highly addictive, responsible for hundreds of thousands of unnecessary deaths every year, and serves no other purpose. So comparing the two and pretending they should be treated the same doesn't really make sense. But that's a debate for another article.

At issue here is the fact that state officials are doing their duty and trying to prevent children from being exposed to fun looking, colorful tobacco products in stores. A 2007 HHS study found that "of all adult smokers nationwide, 90 percent began smoking while in their teens, or earlier, and two-thirds became regular smokers before they reached the age of 19." DeWine and the other attorneys general are encouraging major retail chains to stop selling tobacco in order to limit the amount of exposure children have to these products in hopes that they will not start smoking and not live a life full of medical complications which is a major burden on our hospitals and other medical resources. I hope they are successful and are able to expand their efforts!


You're either extremely naive, a stoner or both. Marijuana is a potent drug that has real long term adverse effects. I lost several friends in high school because their love for getting high led them to other drugs like cocaine or heroin. Marijuana is a gateway drug, like it or not. You can't say the same for tobacco.

Tobacco has become a vehicle for taxation, another attempt to squeeze more blood from the American turnip. Our country is in more debt than we will ever be able to repay, and eventually it will lead to catastrophic collapse.

Tobacco is harmful, no doubt about it, but saying that marijuana is a better alternative is asinine.


about that gateway drug thing; how long does it take to make a person do harder drugs? i have been smoking it for about 30 years and im not on any harder drugs. i know others who have been smoking for longer than me, some since before i was born, and not one of us uses cocaine or heroin. im not trying to advocate drug use, just trying to stick to the facts. i dosmoke cigarettes too, and started tobacco before i started smoking marijuana. maybe the tobacco is the gateway drug..


Well to start I am neither naive nor a stoner. Second, I am sorry for the loss of your friends, but what killed them was cocaine and heroin and their choice to start doing those drugs. Third, I was not implying that marijuana is a better alternative to cigarettes. I just think that everything needs to be judged by the same standards. If you presented to someone who had never heard of alcohol, tobacco, or marijuana the facts about each, they would most likely list marijuana as the least dangerous.


Social change. In Vietnam warriors were issued cigarettes in their C - rations. Now they are bad......People do want MJ legal. Watch. Meanwhile crap like Ricky Vitte & John Born are supported by US. DeWine is out-of-touch.


Sell it, don't sell it.

It's a legal product.

Govt. bureaucrats should mind their own business.

Cliff Cannon

" Govt. bureaucrats should mind their own business " Amen.

Really are you ...

I know! Great idea! Lets stop selling gasoline at gas stations. Makes perfect sense if you can't buy cigarettes at a drug store. Nicotine keeps cigarette smokers coming back to buy more. When you are running out of fuel for your car, you have to find a gas station. May be a reason for the need to increase prices at the fuel pump.


Cure for global warming..huh! (sarcasm)
Why isn't anyone for that..
I do believe your on to something... n by what all the wack-jobs state.
global warming: (gas stations selling gas). will have a much more effect on human life than a store selling cigs..
and without the sale of either, would mean much lower tax consumption.
an with governments large appetite, what would be next???
Because we all know government will NOT go on a diet.