Health / February 12, 2014

IU Doctor Working To End Pharmacy Cigarette Sales

Jill Sheridan
IU Doctor Working To End Pharmacy Cigarette Sales

CVS is the latest store to stop selling smokes and one Indiana doctor is campaigning for more to follow its lead.

Selling cigarettes at pharmacies seems illogical to many people including Dr. Nasser Hanna

"It really makes no logical sense to have a pharmacy sell you medicines to help you get better from illness at the same time they sell a product that is the number one killer in the United States," says Hanna.

Dr. Hanna is a lung cancer specialist at the IU Health Simon Cancer Center.  He’s been working closely with a group to encourage pharmacies to quit selling cigarettes.  Dr. Hanna says the effort is all part of a bigger push to de-normalize smoking. Not an easy job.

"Smoking has been part of mainstream society for a century," comments Hanna.

Dr. Hanna says messages aimed at de-normalizing smoking are proven to work, reducing smoking rates especially among young people. 

He believes CVS’s move will greatly benefit the company in the public’s view and that other pharmacies like Walgreens will soon follow suit.