S-992 is a bill that would be a game-changer for retailers, and it just took its first step toward reality. A state Senate committee endorsed a bill to ban cigarette sales and even vape sales in pharmacies. They even amended it to include any retailers that also contains a pharmacy.

So let's think about that. All drug stores, not just CVS which stopped carrying cigarettes voluntarily a few years ago, would be mandated to not sell a legal product. All grocery stores that have a pharmacy inside, and many of them do, would not be allowed to sell cigarettes, a legal product. All retailers of any kind, like a Walmart that has a pharmacy, a Costco that has a pharmacy, no matter how small a part of their business that pharmacy is, would not be allowed to sell a legal product.

Yet the state of New Jersey continues to reap the tax benefits of tobacco sales. Such hypocrisy. The tax on cigarettes in NJ is $2.70. According to a 2017 article from APP.com, that's high above the U.S. state tax average of $1.65 per pack. The state of New Jersey reaps a staggering $700 million in tax revenue from the sale of cigarettes.

The politicians know this ban of sales in pharmacies is not going to stop people from smoking. The sales will just shift to non-pharmacy stores like convenience stores and the greedy politicians will still get their blood money. So they will continue to benefit from the sale of cigarettes while not allowing retailers to benefit the same. The sale of, again, a legal product.

If you hack lawmakers really care about this as a health issue why don't you ban the sale of cigarettes outright in the state of New Jersey? All you're trying to do is get your names out there, so I'm not even including the names of the bill's sponsors in this piece. If you want that information you can see the newsroom's article on it. All you're trying to do is achieve caring optics and score some talking points for yourselves. If this were really about health, why then do we raise $700 million in revenue from the sale of cigarettes which kill hundreds of thousands of people in this country annually yet for years we've been dead last among states in using some of that money for anti-smoking initiatives?

These politicians can't answer those questions. Because they're hypocrites. And S992 should just go away.

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