The following article comes from Jackie Doane of the Greater Boston Tobacco-Free Community Partnership.
Concord has become the twenty-fifth community in the state to ban the sale of tobacco products in health care institutions.
On Tuesday, Dec. 20, the Board of Health passed a regulation prohibiting health care institutions, such as pharmacies, hospitals, and health clinics, from selling tobacco. The new regulation will take effect on Feb. 14, 2012. The Board of Health will notify all establishments impacted by the regulation.
Products such as the patch and nicotine gum will continue to be sold at pharmacies as FDA-approved cessation medicines.
“Selling tobacco in pharmacies is detrimental to the public health and undermines the messages of other health professionals that tobacco products are uniquely dangerous,” said Alan Woodward, M.D., chairman of the Concord Board of Health.
Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States and is the only consumer product that, when used as directed, causes illness and death. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, smoking accounts for more than 440,000 deaths annually in the U.S. and many more people suffer from chronic conditions, such as heart disease, cancer, and respiratory illnesses. Knowing the endless harms of tobacco use, supporters of the regulation agree that it is incompatible with the mission of a pharmacy or other health care institution to sell these harmful products at the same location.
Boston was the first city in Massachusetts to ban the sale of tobacco in pharmacies three years ago, and today more than 25 percent of the state’s population is covered by such a ban.
For more information about the regulation, please contact Susan Rask, public health director at the Concord Health Department, 978-318-3275, or click here to visit the Greater Boston Tobacco-Free Community Partnership online.