HEALTH

Montgomery Co. asks pharmacists to stop selling tobacco products

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(WJLA) - Bruce Goodarzi says that not allowing pharmacies to sell tobacco products probably won’t solve the problem of smoking. A pharmacist for decades, he runs Rockville Pharmacy, and has always chosen not to sell cigarettes.

"As a pharmacist, we know the damage that costs the consumer," he says.

It’s a good example of what the Montgomery County Council wants to see in other pharmacies, as it introduced a resolution on Tuesday asking pharmacists to stop selling tobacco products altogether.

A couple of months ago, CVS announced that it would do the same, and stop selling cigarettes in more than 7,000 stores by October. Councilmember George Leventhal says the County is just following the lead of Attorney Generals in 28 other states.

It’s a reminder that the County has always been on the forefront when it comes to reducing the use of tobacco:

"We have an extraordinary low smoking rate in Montgomery County, and indeed we just learned last week that we have the second highest longevity rate in the entire United States," says Leventhal. "It makes sense that if you're in the health care business, you should not also be selling products that are hurting people."

Rockville resident Mark Ward says it’s a good start, but back at the pharmacy, Goodarzi is skeptical:

"Do we sell other things that are more harmful than cigarettes? Yes, we do. Will the county do anything about it? I think it's all about money. For me not to sell the product, I'm not solving a problem. The problem has to be tackled at an early age."

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