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December 2015

Big Tobacco and Drugstore Chains: A Long, Cozy Relationship

Author Affiliations
  • 1School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley
  • 2Graduate School of Journalism, University of California, Berkeley
  • 3Charles Perkins Center, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia
JAMA Oncol. 2015;1(9):1215-1216. doi:10.1001/jamaoncol.2015.2621

On December 8, 1971, the Walgreens pharmacy chain received a letter from a registered nurse in the Chicago area. Her brother-in-law, a smoker, was about to have his cancerous larynx removed, and she admonished the company for selling tobacco and not warning customers of its effects. “By the time you receive this my brother-in-law will have lost his ability to ever speak again,” she wrote. “Ghastly, isn't it?”1

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