Shame on discount retail stores in our area that focus on dollars over families and sell tobacco products when countless other companies are stopping those sales. I guess the draw for these limited dollars that their poorer customers spend was just too loud a siren song. Yes, customers of those stores tend to have less money and, yes, smoking rates are much higher among those populations, meaning more sales. But shouldn't it burden the conscience of CEO's that they're enabling an industry that causes the most preventable deaths in the world? Our tax dollars are paying for many of these customers' health issues that result from their tobacco use. And in these tough economic times, when the state and federal governments are cutting budgets left and right, why is it that the tobacco industry is still allowed to push their products that only drain public coffers before they fill coffins?
Senior Program Coordinator for the Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and Allegany Counties Reality Check