Altria CEO comments on the New York State proposal to ban tobacco sales in pharmacies and grocery stores..

April 25, 2009 - From Question-and-Answer Session: Altria Group, Inc. Q1 2009 Earnings Call Transcript.. Michael E. Szymanczyk, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Altria Group, Inc.

Question from analyst: New York State put out a proposal to ban cigarettes sales in grocery stores and [inaudible] stores which follow similar actions by San Francisco and Boston. Is that at trend that is accelerating across the country? Are you seeing more proposals like this cropping up in cities or states and what’s your take on that?

Michael E. Szymanczyk: Well, I’m not aware of a grocery store situation but yes, you’re right there’s a pharmacy situation in San Francisco. I wouldn’t call it a trend but, certainly you’ve seen some proposals in that regard. I think that I don’t know that from our standpoint they make a lot of sense but nonetheless you’ve seen some of that.

Analyst: But it’s nothing you’re concerned about right now?

Michael E. Szymanczyk: Well, you know look, you have a broadly distributed product and it’s predominate channel is really C stores [c-stores, convenience))and C gas and volumes in some of these other channels have declined over the years so I don’t think there’s a shortage of retail distribution in that category.

Reference: Altria Group, Inc. Q1 2009 Earnings Call Transcript, Seeking Alpha, 4./22/2009.