The Joint Committee on Public Health held a hearing today on House Bill 2054. This bill would prohibit the sale of tobacco products at locations where health professionals are employed. In addition to being the sponsor of this bill, Representative Garballey, was the first person to testify in support of this bill. Rep. Garballey opened by stating that “tobacco is the number one cause of preventable death in America.” With this fact in mind Sean asserted that the sale of tobacco in pharmacies legitimizes the usage of tobacco. A point shared by other experts, who testified in support, saying that back when hospitals served cigarettes it implied that smoking is not hazardous otherwise they would not be sold at a place that cures people. The duplicity invoked therefore by purchasing tobacco products at a pharmacy, another place of healing was not lost on those who testified. Pharmacists should be regarded as the strongest source of public health and is therefore discouraging to sell a product that causes death. As Sean pointed out, Boston has already approved a citywide ban on the sale of tobacco in pharmacies with little to no outcry against it. In fact in the general scheme of things relatively low amounts of tobacco products are actually purchased at a pharmacy; therefore we feel prohibiting the sale of tobacco products in pharmacies is a logical and reasonable proposal.
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