Blumenthal to drug stores: don’t sell cigarettes

In this file photo, Marlboro cigarettes are on display in a CVS store. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH)– Senator Richard Blumenthal is joining six other US Senators in calling on all of the major drug store chains to follow the lead of CVS.

Last week, CVS has announced it will stop selling tobacco products at all of their stores later this year.

This has turned out to be a positive public relations bonanza for CVS. And Connecticut’s senior US Senator has joined his colleagues in sending letters to Walgreens, Rite-Aid and all the others.

Joined by representatives from the American Heart Association, Blumenthal stood in front of the CVS store in downtown Hartford Monday to publicize the letters.

News 8 asked him why he was not calling on the chains to stop selling other unhealthy products like sugary soft drinks and fatty food snacks.

“Tobacco and cigarettes are different from any other legal product.  They kill the customer when used as intended.   We can debate sugar or transfats or whatever, we can debate a lot of products but tobacco kills the customer when used as intended,” said Blumenthal.

When he was Attorney General, Blumenthal led that big law suit against the tobacco companies that resulted in that big settlement sending money to all the states for tobacco cessation efforts.

Several of the other big drug store chains have said they are considering following CVS’s lead.

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