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Survey: Walgreens shoppers want tobacco gone from stores

Nearly three-quarters of Walgreens shoppers say the pharmacy chain should ban the sale of tobacco products, according to a new survey by Truth Initiative®.


73% of Walgreens shoppers surveyed reported that they favor a Walgreens ban on tobacco sales

Walgreens, the country’s largest pharmacy chain, has repeatedly refused to ban tobacco sales while other stores, including CVS Pharmacy, have made the move. Last January, Truth Initiative organized a rally outside of Walgreens’ annual shareholders meeting and presented its shareholders with a truth® petition that collected more than 5,000 youth signatures calling on the chain to stop selling tobacco. The company’s shareholders meet again on Jan. 17, 2018.

The survey of 571 Walgreens shoppers found that 73 percent reported that they favor a Walgreens ban on tobacco sales.

Here are some other findings from the survey:

  • Eighty-two percent of Walgreens shoppers agree that “the primary focus of stores with pharmacies should be to sell products that help people get and stay healthy.”
  • Sixty-one percent of Walgreens shoppers say it is inappropriate for businesses with pharmacies in them to display ads and promotions for tobacco.
  • Fifty-nine percent of Walgreens shoppers agree that stores with pharmacies should not display tobacco products behind the checkout counter.
  • More than a quarter of Walgreens shoppers – 27 percent – reported that they would shop at Walgreens more often if it stopped selling tobacco products.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data from 2016 showed that 66 percent of U.S. adults favored a ban on tobacco products in pharmacy stores, including nearly half of smokers. Tobacco is still the number one preventable cause of death in the U.S., killing more than 540,000 people each year.

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