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BC the last province to allow cigarette sales in pharmacies

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – BC is often considered a leader in anti-tobacco measures, but this province is behind the trend on at least one measure: banning cigarettes from pharmacies.

A number of groups have been unsuccessfully trying to get that changed.

Jack Boomer of the Clean Air Coalition says it’s an unflattering distinction. “BC will be the last province in Canada to allow tobacco products to be sold in pharmacies.”

Instead of imposing a ban, the BC government says it’s leaving it to pharmacies to make the choice. The province argues its tobacco-control strategy is working, noting BC has the lowest smoking rates in the country.

Boomer isn’t sold. “Even though we have the lowest per-capita rate in all of Canada, we actually have the thirrd most smokers.”

He says it’s a temptation that should be removed.

“While people may go into the pharmacy to get the patch and gum, or their pharmacotherapy to assist them to quit smoking, on their way out, they have to walk by the cigarettes,” he explains.

Tomorrow, the WHO marks No Tobacco Day.