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As part of its companywide commitment to raising awareness of its health and wellness efforts, West Sacramento, Calif.-based Raley's Family of Fine Stores will no longer sell tobacco products. The regional retailer said it has already stopped ordering tobacco products and effective immediately, will not order any more.
"This is not a decision that we’ve taken lightly," according to a notice on Raley’s website, nor was it based on any governmental pressure or reward. Instead, the company said: "We are committed to infusing life with health and happiness, and removing tobacco products is another example of that commitment. We have a dedicated health and sustainability leader on our team to further support our commitment to provide more healthy options for our customers."
Citing "a very strong correlation between tobacco use and many serious health issues," Raley’s said its decision to ban the sale of tobacco is an integral part of its "commitment to the health and happiness of our customers. While other substances can also have adverse effects with high consumption, there is far less evidence at this time to indicate that consumption of sugary snacks and alcohol in moderation poses a significant health threat to healthy adults. At this time, the evidence against tobacco usage is simply too strong to ignore."
The move, which comes in tandem with Raley's commemoration of its 80th anniversary this week, "is our next big step in ongoing efforts to provide healthier options and to raise awareness about health and wellness. We care about our customers and the communities we serve."
The privately-owned, family-operated retailer has stores in northern California and Nevada under four banners: Raley’s, Bel Air Markets, Nob Hill Foods and Food Source.