Ban Tobacco Sales in Pharmacies
Last month, the Erie County executive announced that he wants Erie County to be the first in New York to ban pharmacy retailers from selling cigarettes and e-cigarettes. Other counties in California and Massachusetts have enacted similar legislations, but this would be the first of its kind in New York.
One concern that Erie County has is that it might hurt privately owned pharmacies; however, this is much less concerning than the fact that a pharmacy sells tobacco. Currently, anyone can pick up their prescription for smoking-related issues in the back, and then turn around and buy cigarettes — which are why they need the former prescription in the first place — right at the front counter in the same store.
Luckily, in the counties of Chemung, Schuyler and Steuben, we are uniquely positioned, as all of our local privately owned pharmacies already voluntarily do not sell tobacco. A ban on selling tobacco in all pharmacies, coming from our local governments, would level the playing field against the corporately owned pharmacies. A ban also would decrease the number of tobacco retailers, decrease youth exposure to tobacco and tobacco marketing, and decrease the social acceptability of tobacco.
COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT COORDINATOR, SOUTHERN TIER TOBACCO AWARENESS COALITION
PUBLIC HEALTH EDUCATOR, CHEMUNG COUNTY