Tobacco sales in pharmacies were a source of both local and national attention yesterday. CVS announced that they would end the sale of tobacco in all their stores by October 1, but they acted a month ahead of schedule. As of yesterday, CVS stores stopped selling tobacco products, rebranded themselves as CVS Health, and launched a national smoking cessation campaign called “Let’s Quit Together.” Read more in the New York Times and the AP.

Locally, seventeen people spoke at last night’s Albany County public hearing on a local law to end the sale of tobacco products in all Albany County pharmacies. Of the seventeen who provided public comment, fourteen spoke in favor of the law. You can read @SmokeFreeCap’s live tweets from the hearing by following #TobaccoFreeRx.

The law was passed by the Albany County legislature but awaits action by the County Executive who must decide by September 12 whether to sign or veto. If you were unable to attend the public hearing, please share your thoughts about this local law with County Executive Dan McCoy by email or phone (518) 447-7040.

Your voice matters. If this local legislation is signed into law, Albany County will be the first New York State municipality to prohibit the sale of tobacco in pharmacies, following in the footsteps of nearly 100 Massachusetts municipalities and setting a new standard for public health in NYS. To learn more about tobacco-free pharmacies, visit our Tobacco-Free Pharmacy page.