Comments Off on Anti-smurfing public awareness campaign launched to combat methamphetamine use

A privately-funded statewide campaign launched on Nov. 19 will serve to increase public awareness about smurfing, the illegal process of buying products containing pseudoephedrine (PSE) on behalf of methamphetamine criminals.

Gov. Steve Beshear joined members of the General Assembly, representatives from the Kentucky Retail Federation, the Kentucky Pharmacists Association and the Consumer Healthcare Products Association for the anti-smurfing announcement.

The goal of the Anti-Smurfing Campaign is to inform potential smurfers and the general public—through signage displayed at pharmacy sales counters—that smurfing is a serious criminal offense that can result in jail time. The initiative was developed by the Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA), a national association representing the makers of over-the-counter-medicines. The campaign will be carried out by Kentucky retailers on a voluntary basis.

“The negative impacts of methamphetamine production and abuse extend much further than the meth abuser and their loved ones,” said Beshear. “Meth has an enormous fiscal and criminal impact on Kentucky, and I am committed to working with leaders across the state to combat the use of this deadly drug. Smurfing is a main component of the criminal meth process and I want to thank the industry leaders and retailers who are sponsoring this anti-smurfing educational effort.”

“We want to relay the message to potential smurfers that this is not a small crime and that their illegal actions could have far-reaching consequences,” said Sen. Robert Stivers. “This public awareness campaign sends a clear message to meth criminals that Kentucky leaders are cracking down on all aspects of their enterprise. By educating potential smurfers on the severity of producing or aiding in the production of meth, I think we have a shot at reducing meth use in the state.”

“We are hopeful that this public education message will make individuals stop and think about the negative effects that occur when pseudoephedrine is diverted into making meth,” said Van Ingram, executive director of the Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy.

The Kentucky Pharmacists Association and the Kentucky Retail Federation, both co-sponsors of the campaign, have already begun distributing Anti-Smurfing signage to retailers across the state.

For more information on the campaign, click here.




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