Tobacco Sales in Pharmacies: Walgreens “On Notice”

FDA, Pharmacies, Policy Advocacy

Earlier this month, the FDA issued at no tobacco sales order to a Walgreens in Miami Beach, FL for repeated tobacco sales to minors. However, Walgreens as a corporation also has a 22% overall violation rate for sales to minors, making it the top violator among pharmacies that sell tobacco products.FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb has written to Walgreens and will be meeting with them to address these violations.

After CVS’s landmark decision to stop selling all tobacco products in 2014, pressure and criticism has mounted on Walgreens to follow suit.So far, Walgreens has piloted efforts to stop selling cigarettes in Gainesville, FL (within 17 stores) and will be evaluating this pilot program to assess if more widespread changes need to be made. Read more here. 

However, local and state governments need not wait for corporations to take voluntary action. A number of cities and counties across California, Massachusetts, New York, and Minnesota have prohibited the sale of tobacco in any pharmacy. Massachusetts has now made this policy state-wide, there is a policy proposed in New York to do the same. Learn more about tobacco-free pharmacy policies, and check out our action guide!