Bryan Cohen Sep. 4, 2013, 7:10pm

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (Legal Newsline) - Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller helped launch a statewide public awareness campaign Tuesday to warn individuals who buy certain medicines for the purpose of making methamphetamine.

Zoeller joined with representatives from the Consumer Healthcare Products Association, the Indiana Retailers Council and the Indiana Pharmacists Alliance, in addition to local prosecutors, Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke and other leaders to unveil the campaign in Evansville. According to the Indiana State Police, Vanderburgh County leads the state in the number of meth labs found in 2013.

"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 warns Hoosiers 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 is meant to grow awareness about smurfing, the criminal practice of buying cold and allergy medicines with pseudoephedrine to sell to cooks of methamphetamine.

The campaign informs consumers using signage displayed at the point of sale that smurfing is a criminal offense and a key part of the meth production process. Buying certain cold or allergy products for a stranger can contribute to the state's meth problem.

The anti-smurfing signage is already being distributed to retailers throughout Indiana.

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