Amid FDA allegations that minors purchase cigarettes at its stores, Walgreens says it’s not going to stop selling tobacco products at all its stores due to the negative fallout from consumers.
“We are well aware of the risk with this, but we leave it to customer choice. And if the customers choose to smoke and want to buy tobacco products in our environment, we provide that,” said James Skinner, executive chairman of Walgreens Boots Alliance during a shareholder call earlier this year.
Walgreens Boots Chief Executive Stefano Pessina said that the reason the pharmacy chain isn’t giving up selling cigarettes in all its stores is that “when we don’t sell tobacco, we have a lot of (negative) reactions,” in an interview with the Wall Street Journal.
The issue stems from a Food and Drug Administration order in February to halt the sale and distribution of tobacco products, including cigars and mental cigarettes to minors.