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In reply to the New York Times

Below is a letter to the editor from Chief Executive Officer John R. Seffrin published in the New York Times in reply to an opinion piece by Peter B. Bach questioning the Society's work with Walgreens.

Atlanta, April 11, 2014--Last year, Walgreens customers contributed more than $6 million to help the American Cancer Society provide free cancer screenings, information and support to people who could not otherwise afford them. Every dollar donated at checkout helped prevent or mitigate suffering from cancer.

Peter B. Bach (“The Tobacco Ties That Bind,” Op-Ed, April 11) would have us believe that those acts of generosity from its customers somehow bought Walgreens our permission to continue selling tobacco, but that could not be further from the truth. The society, a leader for decades in scientific research and public education efforts focusing on the lifesaving effectiveness of tobacco control measures, has encouraged CVS and Walgreens to give up tobacco sales throughout the course of our relationship with both companies.

Walgreens — and all pharmacies — should stop selling tobacco, and we firmly believe that we will get further faster by working with the pharmacy industry rather than against it to end tobacco-related death and suffering.


John R. Seffrin

Chief Executive

American Cancer Society