SAN FRANCISCO In a 180-degree about face from its position announced this past fall, HealthyPharmacies.org is now predicting that tobacco will be sold in few if any U.S. pharmacies within three years the organization announced Thursday.
“We’ve been amazed at how strong the support is for throwing tobacco out of all pharmacies,” stated Stuart Skorman, executive director of HealthyPharmacies.org. “The first mover will have the opportunity to pull off the PR coup of the century in the pharmacy industry. All the pharmacies have put wellness at the center of their marketing campaigns. But by eliminating tobacco from their stores, they will be sending a strong message to consumers that they really do care about peoples’ health while their competitors don’t.”
Such retailers as Target and Wegmans have already sent that message, has have regional pharmacies like Kopp Drug in Pennsylvania or Morton Pharmacy in Wisconsin. According to a USA Today report, most independent pharmacies are also already tobacco free.
In November, HealthyPharmacies.org floated a proposal to significantly reduce smoking by limiting tobacco sales to pharmacies only, with the goal of pharmacists being able to provide relevant cessation education. Pharmacy school leaders and anti-smoking nonprofits strongly rejected the proposal because they believe pharmacists, as healthcare providers, should not distribute tobacco under any circumstance.