Should Tobacco Products Be Sold in Pharmacies?

- "I'm 68-years-old and I smoked for at least 50 years," said Ronald Jordan.

For Ronald Jordan, smoking is a personal choice, but he's still on board with the Tobacco Action Coalition of the Finger Lakes. The organization is urging pharmacies to stop selling tobacco products.

"In some areas, no, like residential areas where there's drug stores because of children coming in," said Jordan.

It's a resolution that the coalition hopes the Health and Medical Services Committee will approve. The resolution would not be a law, but a way for town supervisors to encourage their pharmacies to stop selling deadly products.

Smoker, Paul Cahill, says it shouldn't be up to the government. For him, buying cigarettes at a pharmacy is convenient.

"I think it's up to the pharmacy, like for the grocery stores, Wegmans doesn't sell them. Tops does," said Paul Cahill.

Ontario County Public Health Director, Mary Beer, says supervisors are still hesitant on the idea.

"They are struggling with the issue if whether they should really be putting it forth from interfering with business practices. This is a free country and all of that," said Beer.

Beer says you have to look at the bigger picture. She believes it's a philosophical issue; one that supports healthy living.

"We know, the studies all show, that the results of smoking and the bad health it has on our entire population and when it's readily accessible, it makes it even easier, especially for the youth, to obtain the products," said Beer.

"Pretty soon they will be telling me I can't go into Davidson's and buy a pair of sandals," said Cahill.

"It's a matter of opinion. Just like grey and white and black," said Jordan.

Beer says she will bring another resolution, with minor changes, back to the next meeting in July in hopes of getting everyone to support it.

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