Online Program

Around the globe, pharmacies don't sell tobacco. why is it different here in the US?

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Bob Gordon, MPH, LGBT Partnership, California LGBT Tobacco Education Partnership, San Francisco, CA
Issues: The United States is virtually the only place in the world where pharmacies are in the business of selling tobacco. Pharmacists take an oath to improve the lives of their patients, yet a large number of pharmacists and drugstores find themselves working in retail environments that sell tobacco, alcohol and a wide variety of unhealthy foods. Description: The tobacco industry has a tremendous interest in seeing tobacco continue to be sold in as many venues as possible. Therefore it is imperative for advocates to emphasize that a pharmacy is a place of health, a place to get better, not to get cancer. Lessons Learned: Tobacco-free pharmacy policy campaigns have been successful in California and Massachusetts, and there is much to learn from advocates who have successfully advocated for such policies. Policy-makers and the public are generally open to the passage of tobacco-free pharmacy policies, yet it is important to study past successes as well as look at some challenges and barriers. Recommendations: Research, media and community organizing principles all play a role in bringing about a change in what is sold in the thousands of pharmacies that, unlike the pharmacies in most of the world, continue to sell commercial tobacco products, products that have absolutely no safe use.

Learning Areas:

Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Identify communities in the United States that have prohibited the sale of tobacco in pharmacies. Describe 3 reasons why it makes sense for communities to develop tobacco-free pharmacy policies. Develop activities and an objective that will lead to a local policy.

Keyword(s): Tobacco Policy, Pharmacies

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been working in tobacco control on the local level for over 15 years. Recently I have been concentrating in the area of tobacco-free pharmacy policy.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.