Pharmacy Students' Perceptions of Tobacco Sales in Pharmacies and Suggested Strategies for Promoting Tobacco-Free Experiential Sites

Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Yale University School of Medicine, USA.
American journal of pharmaceutical education (Impact Factor: 1.08). 08/2006; 70(4):75. DOI: 10.5688/aj700475
Source: PubMed


The objectives of this report were to estimate the extent to which pharmacy student perceptions are aligned with the 2003 resolution of the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) addressing the use of experiential sites that sell cigarettes and other tobacco products.
Pharmacy students participating in a national tobacco cessation training program completed posttraining survey instruments and indicated their opinion about tobacco sales in pharmacies. Responses were examined with respect to students' sex and tobacco use status.
Of 3,064 students, 3.5% were in favor of tobacco sales in pharmacies. Opinions varied by students' sex (p < 0.001) and tobacco use status (p < 0.001); in logistic regression analyses, males (OR = 2.62; 95% CI, 1.77, 3.89) and current tobacco users (OR = 2.31; 95% CI, 1.41, 3.76) were most likely to be in favor of tobacco sales.
Few pharmacy students are in favor of tobacco sales in pharmacies. Given the overall lack of support, and acting in accordance with the 2003 AACP resolution, pharmacy schools are encouraged to use only experiential sites that do not sell tobacco products. Suggested strategies for moving toward this goal are presented.

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    • "As students are taught about smoking cessation counseling and the importance of this practice in pharmacies, the contradiction of tobacco sales in pharmacies is becoming more apparent. The American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) passed a resolution in 2003 recommending that schools of pharmacy only choose experiential sites for students that do not sell tobacco products [17]. However, student experiential sites are selling tobacco products, and whether these sites are effectively counseling patients on smoking cessation remains important, because pharmacists could play a more decisive role than they do. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Pharmacies are venues in which patients seek out products and professional advice in order to improve overall health. However, many pharmacies in the United States continue to sell tobacco products, which are widely known to cause detrimental health effects. This conflict presents a challenge to pharmacists, who are becoming increasingly more involved in patient health promotion activities. This study sought to assess Western New York (WNY) area pharmacists’ opinions about the sale of tobacco products in pharmacies, and pharmacists’ opinions on their role in patient smoking cessation. Methods Participants responded to two parallel surveys; a web-based survey was completed by 148 university-affiliated pharmacist preceptors via a list based sample, and a mail-based survey was completed by the supervising pharmacist in 120 area pharmacies via a list-based sample. The combined response rate for both surveys was 31%. Univariate and bivariate analyses were performed to determine any significant differences between the preceptor and supervising pharmacist survey groups. Results Over 75% of respondents support legislation banning the sale of tobacco products in pharmacies. Over 86% of respondents would prefer to work in a pharmacy that does not sell tobacco products. Differences between preceptor and supervising pharmacist groups were observed. Action regarding counseling patients was uncommon among both groups. Conclusions Pharmacists support initiatives that increase their role in cessation counseling and initiatives that restrict the sale of tobacco products in pharmacies. These data could have important implications for communities and pharmacy practice.
    BMC Research Notes 08/2012; 5(1):413. DOI:10.1186/1756-0500-5-413
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    • "Indeed, voluntary initiatives by pharmacies preceded recent bans on pharmacy tobacco sales in San Francisco and Richmond, California and several Massachusetts cities [43]. Our study echoes others in suggesting that banning cigarette sales in pharmacies is likely to be uncontroversial among the public and pharmacists [17,18]; banning cigarette sales in grocery stores may be the next logical step. "
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    ABSTRACT: In California, some 40,000 retailers sell tobacco products. Tobacco's ubiquitousness in retail settings normalizes use and cues smoking urges among former smokers and those attempting cessation. Thus, limiting the number of retailers is regarded as key to ending the tobacco epidemic. In the past decade, independent pharmacies and local grocery chains in California and elsewhere have voluntarily abandoned tobacco sales. No previous studies have examined the reasons for this emerging phenomenon. We sought to learn what motivated retailers to discontinue tobacco sales and what employees and customers thought about their decision. We conducted case studies of seven California retailers (three grocery stores, four pharmacies) that had voluntarily ceased tobacco sales within the past 7 years. We interviewed owners, managers, and employees, conducted consumer focus groups, unobtrusively observed businesses and the surrounding environment, and examined any media coverage of each retailer's decision. We analyzed data using qualitative content analysis. For independent pharmacies, the only reason given for the decision to end tobacco sales was that tobacco caused disease and death. Grocers listed health among several factors, including regulatory pressures and wanting to be seen as "making a difference." Media coverage of stores' new policies was limited, and only three retailers alerted customers. Management reported few or no customer complaints and supportive or indifferent employees. Pharmacy employees were pleased to no longer be selling a deadly product. Grocery store management saw the decision to end tobacco sales as enhancing the stores' image and consistent with their inventory of healthy foods. Focus group participants (smokers and nonsmokers) were largely unaware that retailers had stopped selling tobacco; however, almost all supported the decision, viewing it as promoting public health. Many said knowing this made them more likely to shop at the store. Most thought that advertising the store's policy was essential to generate good public relations and tobacco norm changes. Voluntary retailer abandonment of tobacco sales both reflects and extends social norm changes that have problematized tobacco in California. Our findings suggest that such voluntary initiatives by retailers are welcomed by consumers and should be publicized, enhancing public health efforts.
    BMC Public Health 11/2011; 11(1):848. DOI:10.1186/1471-2458-11-848 · 2.26 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The availability of tobacco and alcohol products in community pharmacies contradicts the pharmacists' Code of Ethics and presents challenges for a profession that is overwhelmingly not in favor of the sale of these products in its practice settings. The primary aim of this study was to estimate the proportion of pharmacies that sell tobacco products and/or alcoholic beverages and to characterize promotion of these products. The proportion of pharmacies that sell non-prescription nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) products as aids to smoking cessation also was estimated. Among 250 randomly-selected community pharmacies in Los Angeles, 32.8% sold cigarettes, and 26.0% sold alcohol products. Cigarettes were more likely to be available in traditional chain pharmacies and grocery stores than in independently-owned pharmacies (100% versus 10.8%; P < 0.001), and traditional chain drug stores and grocery stores were more likely to sell alcoholic beverages than were independently-owned pharmacies (87.5% vs. 5.4%; P < 0.001). Thirty-four (41.5%) of the 82 pharmacies that sold cigarettes and 47 (72.3%) of the 65 pharmacies that sold alcohol also displayed promotional materials for these products. NRT products were merchandised by 58% of pharmacies. Results of this study suggest that when given a choice, pharmacists choose not to sell tobacco or alcohol products.
    Journal of Community Health 06/2011; 37(1):113-8. DOI:10.1007/s10900-011-9424-0 · 1.28 Impact Factor
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