Pharmacy students' perceptions of tobacco sales in pharmacies and suggested strategies for promoting tobacco-free experiential sites.
ABSTRACT 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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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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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 · 2.32 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Bans on the sale of tobacco products in pharmacies allow pharmacies to provide health information and services without the conflict of interest posed by concurrent tobacco sales. As health care providers, pharmacies are trusted sources of information for patients. The existence of tobacco products in pharmacies is contrary to their mission as a health care entity. By May 2012, a full 27 Massachusetts municipalities had banned the sale of tobacco products in health care institutions, including pharmacies. These bans covered 30% of the state's population. Key teaching points: • Pharmacies play a key role in dispensing health advice. • Pharmacies are the only remaining health care institutions in Massachusetts that continue to sell tobacco. • Tobacco products in pharmacies send a conflicting message and are likely to discourage smokers who are trying to quit. • Bans on the sale of tobacco in pharmacies enjoy broad support in Massachusetts. • No legal challenges or compliance problems relating to banning the sale of tobacco in pharmacies have been reported in Massachusetts.Journal of the American College of Nutrition 06/2012; 31(3):145-8. DOI:10.1080/07315724.2012.10720020 · 1.68 Impact Factor