Last updated: March 17. 2014 5:45PM - 219 Views

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ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Attorneys general from 28 states and U.S. territories have written to the chief executives of major U.S. pharmacy chains urging them to stop selling cigarettes and other tobacco products.

Following the decision by CVS (NYSE:CVS) Caremark to stop selling tobacco in its stores, the chains Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) , Walgreens (NYSE:WAG) , Rite-Aid (OOTC:RADCO) (NYSE:RAD) , Safeway (NYSE:SWY) and Kroger (NYSE:KR) are being asked to follow suit.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman says pharmacies increasingly market themselves as sources for community health care, sending “a mixed message” by continuing to sell “deadly tobacco products.”

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine says voluntary decisions by the national retailers will also help keep tobacco away from youths.

According to Schneiderman’s office, the attributable health care costs of smoking are at least $289 billion annually.

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