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Idaho’s AG Asks Box Stores to Stop Selling Tobacco

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BOISE — Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden wants businesses like Walgreens and Walmart to stop selling tobacco products. And, he’s not alone. But some say this is an interference in the marketplace. Wasden says as an attorney general, he has a stick and a carrot. The stick is proverbially used to bring lawsuits, or interfere in the marketplace. He says, in this instance though, he’s using the proverbial carrot, congratulating those who don’t sell tobacco. Wasden is among 28 attorneys general from across the nation to send a letter to Walmart, Walgreens, Rite Aid, Safeway and Kroger, which runs Fred Meyer, urging all of them to stop selling tobacco products. Wasden says it’s important to the state’s youth. “Ninety percent of the people who smoke started before they were 18 years-old.” The attorneys general say they’re trying to protect the public, just like they did in the 1990s when AGs sued tobacco companies for the harm their products caused.

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