Thursday, November 20, 2008
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NCPA encourages member pharmacists to consider refraining from selling tobacco products

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[November 20, 2008]  ALEXANDRIA, Va. -- Recognizing Thursday as the 33rd Great American Smokeout sponsored by the American Cancer Society, the National Community Pharmacists Association House of Delegates approved a resolution asking its pharmacist members consider refraining from selling tobacco products in their pharmacies.

"Community pharmacies are renowned for helping their patients to maintain good health, and the use of tobacco products is an unhealthy and potentially deadly habit," said Bruce T. Roberts, R.Ph., executive vice president and CEO of the association. "While NCPA recognizes the need for these small-business pharmacy owners to make autonomous decisions regarding the stocking of tobacco products, as health care providers in their communities, we encourage them to consider offering healthier alternatives to their patients."

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cigarette smoking alone causes 20 percent of all deaths per year and costs the United States over $150 billion a year in health care costs and loss of productivity; for smokeless tobacco users, the risk of cancer to the cheek and gum is nearly 50 times greater than for nonusers. Recently the city of San Francisco banned the sale of cigarettes in pharmacies, and more cities are expected to do so in the future.

"In a recent survey, nearly 70 percent of our members said they moved away from the sale of tobacco product in their stores," said Roberts, "and we believe this to be an increasing trend among independent community pharmacies."

At its 110th annual Convention and Trade Exposition, held Oct. 11-15, in Tampa, Fla., NCPA's House of Delegates passed a resolution on the sale of tobacco in pharmacies and resolved that any law or regulation prohibiting the sale of tobacco products apply to all entities operating a pharmacy.

The National Community Pharmacists Association represents America's community pharmacists, including the owners of more than 23,000 community pharmacies, pharmacy franchises and chains. Together they represent an $84 billion health care marketplace, employ over 300,000 full-time employees and dispense nearly half of the nation's retail prescription medicines.

[Text from file received from the National Community Pharmacists Association]




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