Canada - more governments encouraged to ban sales of tobacco in pharmacies..

January 20, 2009 - 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 January 1, 2009.

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. Dr. Els: "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."

Besides Alberta pharmacy sales of tobacco products are already banned in Ontario, New Brunswick, Quebec, Nova Scotia, Nunavut and Newfoundland and Labrador. Els said most pharmacists in those provinces were in favor of the ban but the holdup was often with the chain drug stores.

In the U.S. the Cities of San Francisco and Boston have banned the sale of tobacco products in pharmacies.

Reference: Ban pharmacy tobacco sales: group by Pamela Cowan, Saskatchewan News Network - Regina Leader-Post, 1/19/2009.