↑ Return to Tobacco in the Pharmacy

Pharmacies and tobacco

“ALL PHYSICIANS—and increasing numbers of the general public—recognize the link between cigarette smoking and emphysema, squamous cell carcinoma of the lung, chronic bronchitis, cardiovascular problems, low birth weight, and other disabilities. However, few people realize that the tobacco industry has always tried to associate cigarette smoking with good health. And those who look on cigarette smoking as an inalienable right find it hard to believe that it is not even a time-honored tradition.”

Tobacco is the only consumable product that when used as intended will kill at least half of its users. 11
As such, tobacco sales through pharmacies directly contradicts the pharmacist’s code of ethics, which states that pharmacists must be committed to the welfare of their patients and must act with honesty and integrity in professional relationships, avoiding actions that compromise dedication to the best interests of
their patients. 12 Here we describe licensed pharmacists’, future pharmacists’, and adult consumers’ perceptions of tobacco sales in pharmacies in the state of California. REF

In 2008, San Francisco became the first U.S. city to adopt a tobacco-free pharmacy law. Boston and Needham, Massachusetts, followed suit in 2009.

These cities are leading the way in recognizing that cigarettes and pharmacies don’t mix. In San Francisco, Walgreens and tobacco giant Philip Morris filed restraining order requests against the law to prevent the implementation of the city’s tobacco-free pharmacy law. Courts denied both requests and allowed the law to go into effect as scheduled. Walgreens even claimed in a recent action alert that it needs to sell tobacco products in order to counsel people to quit smoking.

When is the last time you heard a drug store checkout clerk counsel someone to buy cessation products rather than cigarettes? Cities like San Francisco and Boston are doing the right thing by seeking to reduce healthcare costs and disease burdens through better prevention policies and programs. Ref