Indiana Attorney General Zoeller, Representative Bucshon, and Local Officials Promote Effort To Stop Smurfing

Educational Campaign Supported By Legislators, Retail Community and Law Enforcement

Washington, D.C. (September 3, 2013) – Today, the Consumer Healthcare Products Association joined Attorney General Greg Zoeller, Representative Larry Bucshon (IN-8), local officials and leaders from the Indiana Pharmacists Alliance, the Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys Council, the Indiana Retail Council, and the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America at a press conference to launch the state’s new voluntary retail Anti-Smurfing Campaign. The initiative, which was developed by the Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA), aims to educate potential “smurfers”— those who buy pseudoephedrine and sell the product to another to manufacture methamphetamine—on the consequences of making an illegal purchase. The Attorney General’s office, the Indiana Pharmacists Alliance, the Indiana Retail Council, and the Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys Council are co-sponsoring the campaign along with CHPA.

“CHPA commends General Zoeller, Congressman Bucshon, the Indiana Pharmacists Alliance, and the Indiana Retailers Council for launching this important initiative in Indiana,” said Scott Melville, president and chief executive officer of the Consumer Healthcare Products Association. “There is no question that smurfing is a challenge for the law enforcement community, and we hope that this program will help address this illegal behavior. In addition to electronic blocking technology and other legislative tools, we are pleased to see Indiana leaders taking concrete steps to educate the public about this type of criminal activity.”

According to law enforcement officials, some hardened criminals—attempting to circumvent the law—approach third parties to purchase pseudoephedrine for them. While some meth cooks may understand they can go to jail for their illegal behavior, individuals who purchase these medicines for others for payment may be unaware that their behavior can lead to prison time.  The Anti-Smurfing Campaign is a public-private partnership that provides Indiana pharmacies signage to display at the retail counter. CHPA tested a range of anti-smurfing messages, and the research affirmed that these materials successfully educate potential smurfers about the consequence of illegal purchases without deterring honest consumers.

“For more than 20 years, Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America and its grassroots coalitions have reduced illegal drugs in communities across the country,” said Mary Elliott of CADCA.  “What we have found is that when all sectors of a community come together, social change happens. That’s why we are so proud to be a part of Indiana’s Anti-Smurfing Campaign. To have such a wide array of community leaders come together on an issue like this is exactly what we need to make a positive difference.”

Contact: Elizabeth Funderburk, 202.429.9260 (w) or 202.256.5677 (m)

CHPA is the 132-year-old trade association representing U.S. manufacturers and distributors of over-the-counter medicines and dietary supplements.