Public Health Council bans sales of tobacco products...

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Public Health Council bans sales of tobacco products...

Postby Wilberforce » Thu Mar 22, 2012 9:00 pm

Springfield Public Health Council bans sales of tobacco products at drug stores, supermarkets with pharmacies
Published: Wednesday, March 21, 2012, 8:30 PM Updated: Thursday, March 22, 2012, 7:13 AM
Peter Goonan, The Republican By Peter Goonan, The Republican

SPRINGFIELD – The city’s Public Health Council approved a new regulation Wednesday night that will ban the sale of tobacco products in drug stores and stores with pharmacies, set to take effect in 60 days.

The board’s vote was unanimous, and follows a public hearing in February.

“It makes common sense,” said Dr. Paul Hetzel, a member of the health council and a retired oncologist. “You don’t want to be in business to improve people’s health and at the same time be in business to have a negative impact on their health.”

Springfield is the latest of 25 communities statewide that has bans on the sale of tobacco in stores with pharmacies, joining communities such as Boston, Worcester, Fall River and New Bedford. Bans already affect more than 260 stores statewide including CVS, Walgreens and Rite Aid.

The new regulation defines drug stores and stores with pharmacies as “health care institutions,” and refers to the sale of tobacco in those stores as “detrimental to the public health and undermines efforts to educate patients on the safe and effective use of medication.”

Any violation in Springfield will carry a fine of $300, set for enforcement by the Health Department.

The health council stated the new regulation takes into account that tobacco causes cancer and respiratory and cardiac diseases, and is one of the leading causes of death in the United States.

Some opponents said tobacco products are legal and highly regulated already, questioning any need for the new regulation. In addition, other stores would still be able to sell tobacco, they said.

At the February hearing, the health council received letters of concern from the Massachusetts Food Association, representing supermarkets and grocery stores, and from one resident. Several high school students, involved in an anti-smoking group, spoke or wrote in favor of the regulation.

“I just wish they would tread a little lighter,” said Brian Houghton, spokesman for the Massachusetts Food Association. “The ordinance will only shift sales from one location to another. They would lose foot traffic sales as well as tobacco sales.”

Public Health Director Helen R. Caulton-Harris said the chain stores and local stores were largely silent on the issue. She said she is not aware of any evidence that restricting sales of tobacco products in those stores harms those businesses or causes layoffs.

Dr. Jeffrey Scavron, a member of the health council, said the regulation is “a very positive thing.”

“Am I worried that Wal-Mart will not be able to sell cigarettes?” he said. “I don’t think so.”

Gloria M. Wilson, a registered nurse and health council member, said the board is promoting good health.

Mike DeAngelis, a spokesman for CVS stores, said that as a pharmacy healthcare provider, CVS recognizes that the sale of tobacco products in our stores “is a challenging issue.”

“However, they are legal for adults to purchase and we make them available for our adult customers who choose to purchase them,” DeAngelis said. “We do not advertise or promote tobacco products and we place them behind the counter so customers must ask for them.

CVS also has smoking cessation products, and has “longstanding policies and procedures intended to prevent tobacco products from being sold to minors,” he said.

TOBACCO SALES BAN
This is a list of stores in Springfield that are being ordered to stop selling tobacco products in 60 days.


Rite Aid
126 Island Pond Road
381 Cooley St.

CVS
615 Belmont Ave.
970 St. James Ave.
770 Boston Road
1500 Main St.
600 State St.
1242 Parker St.

Walgreen's
1440 Boston Road
1919 Wilbraham Road
50 St. James Blvd.
501 Sumner Ave.
707 State St.
625 Carew St.

Wal-Mart
1105 Boston Road

Big Y
300 Cooley St.

Stop & Shop
1277 Liberty St.
1600 Boston Road

source
http://www.masslive.com/news/index.ssf/ ... oun_2.html
• The Surgeon General has determined that there is no safe level of exposure to ambient smoke!

• If you smell even a subtle odor of smoke, you are being exposed to poisonous and carcinogenic chemical compounds!

• Even a brief exposure to smoke raises blood pressure, (no matter what your state of health) and can cause blood clotting, stroke, or heart attack in vulnerable people. Even children experience elevated blood pressure when exposed to smoke!

• Since smoke drastically weakens the lungs' immune system, avoiding smoke is one of the best ways to prevent colds, flu, bronchitis, or risk of an even more serious respiratory illness, such as pneumonia or tuberculosis! Does your child have the flu? Chances are they have been exposed to ambient smoke!
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