General Richard Blumenthal, University of Connecticut (UConn)
President Philip E. Austin and UConn Co-op General Manager William
Simpson today announced that the UConn Co-op will stop selling
cigarettes by the fall.
Co-op moved to ban the sale of cigarettes in its stores at Blumenthal’s
and UConn’s suggestion.
cigarette sales at UConn Co-op stores means that UConn’s great
name will no longer be linked to tobacco products – a significant
step both symbolically and practically,” Blumenthal said. “Universities
should lead and teach by example, as UConn is doing. The Co-op is
sacrificing some revenue, but sending a powerful message: UConn will
not abet Big Tobacco’s lies and deceptions. Selling tobacco
at the UConn Co-ops is inconsistent with the university’s commitment
to public health.”
the 41 years since the first Surgeon General's report outlining
the risks associated with smoking, public institutions have gradually
moved away from any association with tobacco-related products," Austin
said. "While the UConn Co-op is autonomous, its association
with the University and its presence on our campuses cause us
to be deeply interested in its decisions. I am pleased that the
Co-op leadership has taken this positive step toward the promotion
of public health."
recent decision by the UConn Co-op to end the sale of cigarette
products at its campus bookstores is consistent with the process
we began a number of years ago of lowering the profile of tobacco
products and looking toward the day when we would end those sales,” Simpson
said. “When we moved tobacco to a special, request-only area,
we experienced a sales drop of nearly 60 percent and a unit sales
decline greater than that over the past few years. We agree with
the attorney general that it is now appropriate to end the sales
of cigarettes. We will be exiting the business over the next
few months and will not be selling cigarettes when the students
return in the Fall.”
Co-op stores at UConn’s
Storrs, Avery Point, Hartford and Stamford campuses are the only ones that sell cigarettes.
Those stores will sell their remaining stocks of cigarettes over the summer and place
no new orders. Co-op officials expect cigarette inventories to be exhausted
by the start of the fall semester.
Co-op halted sales of non-cigarette tobacco products several
UConn Co-op is a not-for-profit, cooperative corporation established
to provide bookstore services for its members and the UConn community.
It is owned by approximately 30,000 members, primarily UConn
students, faculty and staff, and governed by an elected board
Co-op also operates bookstores at UConn’s Torrington, Waterbury
and West Hartford campuses, which already don’t sell cigarettes.