Get cigarettes out of pharmacies

The use of tobacco products, including smoking cigarettes, remains a serious public health issue in the U.S. Despite many efforts, the CDC estimates that over the past 5 years, the rate of tobacco use has not significantly changed. About 1 in 5 adults in the USA continue to smoke regularly and over 50 percent of children are exposed to the deleterious effects of second-hand smoke.

Pharmacy sign

Pharmacy sign

Cigarette manufacturers work daily to find new ways to keep current tobacco users addicted. They know that point of purchase sales, like full wall displays of cigarettes behind cash registers, attract buyers and increase purchases. Big Tobacco actively recruits businesses, including those that house pharmacies, to sell tobacco and target current smokers and younger “replacement smokers.”

Efforts within our state Legislature to eliminate the sale of tobacco products in facilities where health professionals are employed are not about “annoying smokers” (editorial, “Don’t ban cigarettes in drug stores,” Aug. 4), but about supporting their efforts to quit. Any smoker trying to quit should be able to go into a pharmacy knowing they will not have to see tobacco products displayed next to “the patch” and nicotine gum designed to help their efforts to quit smoking.

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