Thursday, June 07, 2007

Smoke habit hard for stores to break

The ban of tobacco sales in pharmacies in Alberta is imminent. We know that legislation will be enacted, but the effective date is not known yet. While it's quite evident how the change will affect smaller pharmacies that still stock cigarettes, it seemed a lot less clear to me regarding the big grocery stores with pharmacies. However, we seem to have an answer in this article:

As for the pharmacy rule, (Health Minister David) Hancock said Wednesday it will even apply to sprawling retailers like Costco and supermarkets that house both pharmacies and cigarette counters.

"They'll have to choose," he said.
That's a bold statement. I would expect that grocery stores with adjacent liquor stores could just move cigarettes into those locales, but that won't cover a significant percentage of these retailers. I have a hard time imagining that Costco, which sells an enormous amount of cigarettes which ultimately are sold by retailers, would be willing to give these sales up. I guess we'll have to wait and see.

From the Edmonton Journal:
The government's sweeping anti-tobacco legislation will hit retailers the hardest, forcing corner stores to hide their lucrative product and making even large grocery stores choose between their pharmacies and cigarette sales, Health Minister Dave Hancock said.

His Tobacco Reduction Act will be introduced next week. In addition to making all Alberta workplaces smoke-free, the bill would ban visible displays or advertisements of tobacco products in stores, and prohibit cigarette sales at any location selling prescription drugs. ...more

1 comment:

horoth said...

I am quite amazed that alberta has taken so long to banish tobacco sales from pharmacies. In ontario,NB, PEI and NS tobacco sales in pharmacies and related have not been allowed for years. I would say in response to grocery stores they will certainly choose pharmacy. I remember the Costco in halifax had a large tobbacco sales area, when cigs were banished what appeared in its place? a pharmacy! So this is no big deal, besides tobacco is a dying (pardon pun) breed or industry as more people butt out.