Pharmacies don’t need, want tobacco

Sales, not pharmacists, sell tobacco


There are many compelling reasons why ending the sale of tobacco in pharmacies is good policy.

Sadly, The Gazette’s Editorial Board (March 29 edition) chooses to restate tobacco industry opposing arguments and ignore the overwhelming support for tobacco-free pharmacies from pharmacists themselves.

In 2009, the Pharmacist Society of the State of New York passed a resolution supporting efforts to end the sale of tobacco in pharmacies. The following year, the American Pharmacists Association urged pharmacies to discontinue sales of tobacco products and urged state pharmacy boards to discontinue issuing and renewing licenses of pharmacies that sell these products. 

Consistently, surveys indicate that more than three out of four pharmacists support legislation ending the sale of tobacco products in pharmacies and more than 86 percent would prefer to work in a pharmacy that does not sell tobacco products.

None of the independent pharmacies in Albany County sell tobacco products. Tobacco sales continue in chain pharmacies and large stores containing a pharmacy where corporations, not pharmacists, are making the decisions to put profits above health.

No one who is trying to quit tobacco use should see tobacco products placed next to nicotine gum and patches on a pharmacy shelf. Pharmacists know this, but are powerless to change it. We need to help them help their patients.

Theresa Zubretsky


The writer is the Community Engagement coordinator for Capital District Tobacco-Free Communities.

Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion

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