Zoeller helps launch anti-smurfing public awareness campaign



Greg Zoeller
Greg Zoeller



Zoeller helps launch anti-smurfing public awareness campaign

Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller helped unveil a statewide public awareness campaign today to send a warning to those who buy certain medicines for the purpose of making meth.


Zoeller joined representatives from the Indiana Pharmacists Alliance, the Indiana Retailers Council, the Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA), local prosecutors, Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke and other leaders to kick off the initiative in Evansville. The Indiana State Police recently determined Vanderburgh County leads the state for the number of meth labs found so far this year.


“Law enforcement, prosecutors and our Legislature have all worked hard to crackdown on the use and manufacturing of methamphetamine, and the fact is, more must be done” Zoeller said. “This public awareness campaign warms Hoosiers about that purchasing pseudoephedrine for the purposes of either making meth or selling it to a meth cook is a crime. This joint initiative shows that state leaders are willing to join forces with the manufacturers of over-the-counter cold and allergy medicines to remind all Hoosiers: if you’re purchasing these items for a meth cook, you are breaking the law and you will be arrested.”
The voluntary educational campaign aims to increase public awareness about the criminal enterprise known as “smurfing” — the practice of purchasing cold and allergy medicines containing pseudoephedrine (PSE) to sell to methamphetamine cooks.


The anti-smurfing campaign informs consumers through signage displayed at the point of sale that smurfing is a criminal offense and an integral part of the meth production process. As a result, the simple act of buying certain cold or allergy product for a stranger can fuel Indiana’s meth problem.
The public-private partnership was developed by CHPA, a national association representing the makers of over-the-counter medicines, and is carried out by Indiana retailers on a voluntary basis. CHPA tested anti-smurfing posters to ensure that they communicate impactful messaging without deterring legitimate consumers.


“In launching the Anti-Smurfing campaign, Indiana is joining a growing list of states who are dedicated to finding innovative solutions to address the illegal sale of pseudoephedrine,” said Scott Melville, president and chief executive officer of CHPA. “With the Anti-Smurfing Campaign, leaders on both sides of the aisle are putting aside their differences and taking meaningful action against smurfing. We commend Attorney General Zoeller, the Indiana Pharmacy Alliance, the Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys Council, the Indiana State Medical Association and the Indiana Retail Council for taking the lead on this important campaign. We hope that more states will join this effort in the coming weeks.”


“Our role as prosecutors is to serve and protect the community. The fight against methamphetamine dealers is a top priority for Indiana prosecutors. The scourge of meth continues to hit our rural communities especially hard. Buying ingredients for a meth dealer is a serious criminal matter and one which we take very seriously,” said Jennifer Thuma of the Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys Council.


The Indiana Pharmacy Alliance and the Indiana Retailers Council have already begun distributing anti-smurfing signage to retailers across the state. For more information on the campaign, please visit Meth-KnowTheConsequences.Org.