It looks like tobacco power walls in most Albany County chain pharmacies aren’t going away any time soon. Last night, the Albany County Legislature failed to override the County Executive’s veto of a local law to end tobacco sales in pharmacies.
The Albany County Courthouse was packed as Albany county residents, public health advocates, SUNY students, Albany College of Pharmacy students and others urged the Albany County Legislature to override the County Executive’s veto. Despite this demonstration of support, the Legislature voted 22-14 against the override.
Throughout the two years since Local Law D was introduced, public support has been unwavering. Twenty-seven people turned out in support of the law at the first public hearing held in April 2013 and many of those same people were present at last night’s vote. The law’s supporters came from many different perspectives, but all shared a unified conclusion—tobacco sales in pharmacies are bad for kids, bad for health, and bad for the community.
Several legislators at last night’s meeting spoke passionately about their interest in supporting policies that would reduce youth exposure to tobacco marketing and reduce tobacco use. We look forward to providing them with the information and resources they need to do just that.