Pharmacists support removing tobacco products from pharmacies



    EDMONTON, April 25 /CNW/ - The Alberta College of Pharmacists (ACP)
announced today that it strongly endorses the removal of tobacco products from
premises where there is a pharmacy. The statement is made in support of
efforts by the minister of Health and Wellness to reduce tobacco use and
accessibility.
    ACP President Jeff Whissell observed that pharmacists witness daily the
harmful results of tobacco use and its related illnesses. "Pharmacists support
individuals who want to quit smoking by offering smoking cessation programs,
counselling and support."
    Greg Eberhart, the college's registrar, said, "In 1999, 77 per cent of
pharmacists responding to our survey indicated that sales of tobacco products
should not be permitted in pharmacies." Since that time, many pharmacies have
voluntarily removed tobacco products from their premises.
    "Pharmacists are health professionals and pharmacies are health centres,"
said Eberhart. "It is a contradiction to offer health care services and to
sell tobacco products."
    ACP's stand is supported by the results of a college survey of Albertans
completed in early 2007. Overall, 67 per cent of Albertans said "no" when
asked if a store in which a pharmacy is located should sell tobacco products.
    Seniors weighed even higher against selling tobacco products at 69.8 per
cent for respondents who were 65 to 74 years old and 82.7 per cent for
individuals aged 75 years and older.
    "Of particular interest is that 72.8 per cent of respondents from rural
Alberta said tobacco products should not be sold in premises in which a
pharmacy is located," said Eberhart.
    The college issued today's statement in support of the Campaign for a
Smoke-free Alberta (CSFA), a coalition of Alberta health organizations. CSFA
is currently contacting MLAs and encouraging them to support the minister of
Health's efforts to introduce legislation banning tobacco products from
premises where a pharmacy is located, among other tobacco-related issues. Most
other provinces have tobacco-reduction legislation that restricts the sale of
tobacco from premises that have pharmacies.

    The Alberta College of Pharmacists is the regulatory and licensing body
for the pharmacy profession in Alberta.




For further information:

For further information: Greg Eberhart, Registrar, (780) 990-0321; Lynn
Otteson, Communications Leader, (780) 990-0321

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ALBERTA COLLEGE OF PHARMACISTS

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