LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 20, 2012) — Gov. Steve Beshear on Monday announced the launch of a privately-funded statewide campaign aimed at increasing public awareness about smurfing, the illegal process of buying products containing pseudoephedrine (PSE) on behalf of methamphetamine criminals.
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, made at Wheelers Pharmacy on Romany Road in Lexingon.
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,” Beshear said. “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.”
Smurfing has been an ongoing issue facing pharmacists in all corners of the state, said Bob McFalls, executive director of the Kentucky Pharmacists Association.
“We are encouraged that this campaign will deter potential smurfers from committing these crimes and in turn reduce meth use in the state,” McFalls said.
The Kentucky Pharmacists Association and the Kentucky Retail Federation, both co-sponsors of the campaign, already have begun distributing Anti-Smurfing signage to retailers across the state. The campaign is part of Gov. Beshear’s commitment to fighting drug abuse through public awareness and legislative solutions.
For more information on the campaign, click here.