Commentary |

Banning Tobacco Sales in Pharmacies:  The Right Prescription

Mitchell H. Katz, MD
JAMA. 2008;300(12):1451-1453. doi:10.1001/jama.300.12.1451.
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Pharmacists and pharmacies are important components of the health care system. Pharmacists not only fill prescriptions, but serve as valuable sources of information about medications for patients and their families. Accordingly, pharmacies generally are perceived as places that help individuals become healthier. In contrast, the fact that pharmacies sell tobacco, a substance associated with 435 000 deaths per year in the United States,1 conveys a message that is inconsistent with good health. Eighty-two percent of pharmacists and 72% of adult consumers surveyed in California believe that pharmacies should not sell tobacco.2 However, given the lack of progress with voluntary efforts to remove tobacco from the shelves of pharmacies, San Francisco, California, has legislated a ban on the sale of tobacco in pharmacies effective in October 2008.

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