Sunday, January 18, 2009

Group wants cigarettes removed from pharmacies

From the Regina Leader Post:
Physicians for a Smoke-Free Canada say pharmacies that sell cigarettes are profiting from death and disease.

The Ottawa-based advocacy group is calling on the governments of British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Manitoba to introduce legislation to ban the sales of tobacco in pharmacies, just as Alberta did on Jan. 1.

Selling tobacco is not consistent with the role of a health-care provider, said Dr. Charles Els, the Alberta director of Physicians for a Smoke-Free Canada.

“A pharmacy is a place of health, it’s a place where we go to get health advice, to get the best advice on medication and disease conditions ... The bottom line is that it’s completely incongruent with the role of a pharmacist to be profiting from death and disease related to tobacco,” Els said. “We believe that if tobacco continues to be sold in pharmacies, it conveys the message that tobacco is just another consumer product. It lends a false legitimacy and a false sense of safety to tobacco.”

The Ministry of Health understands the concerns regarding the ethical responsibilities of selling a product that causes health problems, said Saskatchewan Health spokeswoman Joan Petrie. ...more

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