FRANKFORT, Ky. (CBS Cleveland/AP) — Retailer Urban Outfitters Inc. has responded to a multi-state campaign and stopped selling flasks, shot glasses and pint glasses that look like prescription pill bottles, political leaders in drug-plagued Kentucky said Wednesday.
The state’s top leaders, including Gov. Steve Beshear and Republican U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers, chairman of the powerful House Appropriations Committee, had joined in a push to get the retailer to pull the items, saying they trivialized the pain and suffering of people struggling with addiction.
“I wrote a letter to the Urban Outfitters CEO shortly after learning about this abominable product line, and I’m very pleased that the store has changed course,” Beshear said in a statement Wednesday. “There’s nothing fashionable about prescription drug abuse, and selling teen-targeted items that glamorize prescription drugs is repulsive.”
The company, which caters to teens and young adults, sent a statement to the Courier-Journal of Louisville saying it had stopped selling the items, the newspaper reported Wednesday. The company did not respond to telephone calls and emails from The Associated Press on Wednesday.
The anti-drug group The Partnership at Drugfree.org initiated the push to get the shops to stop selling the items. Political leaders and Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway signed on last month in Kentucky, where more people now die from drug overdoses than car crashes.
Conway joined 23 of his colleagues from across the country in calling on Urban Outfitters to pull the items, which he said “make light of an epidemic that kills more than 1,000 Kentuckians each year and is responsible for more deaths than heroin and cocaine combined.”
Conway said prescription drugs are now the leading cause of accidental death in the United States, and he said too many teens are experimenting with them, believing that they’re safer than street drugs.
“Urban Outfitters is doing the right thing by removing these tasteless products that make light of an epidemic that kills thousands of people each month in the United States,” said Conway, co-chairman of the Substance Abuse Committee of the National Association of Attorneys General.
Despite the announcement, their “Prescription Coffee Mug” product was still on their website as of Wednesday afternoon. It retails for $14.
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