Protesters Urge Walgreens to Drop Tobacco Sales
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Protesters gathered outside of the Walgreens flagship store in the nation's capital on Jan. 10 to voice their opposition to the retailer's sale of tobacco products.
The zombie-themed demonstration was organized by truth, a national youth tobacco prevention campaigns. The event drove awareness through social media and also urged Walgreens to stop selling tobacco products through a petition hosted on thetruth.com.
According to the campaign, a recent survey conducted by Truth Initiative showed that 82 percent of adults feel that pharmacies should be selling products that help people get and stay healthy. CVS and many independent pharmacies have voluntarily removed tobacco from their inventories, and more than 150 localities in Massachusetts and California combined have passed laws banning pharmacies from selling tobacco, according to the campaign.
"Simply put, tobacco and pharmacies don't mix," said Robin Koval, CEO and president of Truth Initiative. "Our zombie protest underscores that while Walgreens continues to drag its feet on removing tobacco products from it shelves, more people are getting sick and dying from tobacco-related diseases."
The protest came one week before the Walgreens shareholder meeting on Jan. 17 in Scottsdale, Ariz., where truth will attend and ask that the company reconsider selling tobacco products.
This year's "Not Happy or Healthy" protest follows other truth activism on the topic. Last year, people from across the country rallied outside the Walgreens shareholders meeting in New York Jan. 26 to encourage the drug-store chain to stop selling tobacco products.
The campaign also organized a petition that collected more than 5,300 youth signatures, and partnered with DoSomething.org on an effort that engaged more than 67,000 young people to encourage pharmacies to remove tobacco products from their stores.