Anti-Tobacco Residents Speak Up


A dozen people came to the Rockland County government building Wednesday night to discuss the passing of the Tobacco Free Pharmacies Act. This act will disallow local pharmacies such as Walgreens to sell tobacco products, as well as any store that features a pharmacy, such as supermarkets.

Denise Hogan, spokeswoman for this cause, wants to eliminate the sale of tobacco in 19 different pharmacies over Rockland County. According to Hogan, 63 percent of Rockland County residents agree this act should be passed.

Judy Flagg, a nurse at Tappan Zee High School, also spoke out for the passing of this law. She says that tobacco is the leading preventable cause of death in the US and we as a country have spent around billions upon billions on treatment for smoking-related ailments.

Although a pack of cigarettes cost a fortune nowadays due to taxes, we as a society would still save a lot of money if we stopped the sale of cigarettes completely, she said. A counter to that argument is that health-related costs would have come later in a person’s life, anyway, if they did not smoke and acquire lung cancer.

Several students showed up to the meeting to discuss why they shouldn’t sell tobacco in pharmacies. One of those students was Tappan Zee High School sophomore, Emer Ryan. She said how nice it was see the wall of cigarettes taken down at the CVS across the street from the high school. CVS banned cigarettes from their stores in 2014.

Major cities such as San Francisco and Boston have passed this law. Areas in Massachusetts have, as well.

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