Monday, December 29, 2008

Anti-smoking law forces retailer to phase out pharmacy

From the Edmonton Journal:
With the final phase of Alberta's Tobacco Reduction Act set to take effect on New Year's Day, Stadium Drug and Food Mart owner Jack Au had a business choice to make.

Either keep his grocery store where more than 50 per cent of sales come from tobacco products or hang on to the less lucrative pharmacy and watch his former smoking customers buy their cigarettes elsewhere.

"So I closed up the pharmacy. It made no sense to continue with that business when over 50 per cent of the business is tobacco here," Au said.

Au now uses the corner where the pharmacy once stood to rent out videos.

When Jan. 1 rolls around, he will permanently seal up the double doors leading to the pharmacy which moved next door.

There will be no access from his store. He intends to be in compliance with the province's anti-smoking legislation, considered by some to be among the toughest in the country.

Under the legislation, all pharmacies, stores that have a pharmacy in them, health-care facilities and post-secondary institutions in Alberta will no longer be allowed to sell tobacco products as of Jan. 1. ...more

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