Stop BC drugstores from selling cigarettes while they're in the Smoking Cessation Program.

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The time has come for the Province of British Columbia to take a giant leap into the 21st Century.
 
This province is the only remaining province in all of Canada that still allows its drugstores and pharmacies to sell cigarettes. In BC, stores that supposedly should care about peoples’ health are being allowed to sell a product that—with every puff—inserts over 70 known carcinogens into peoples’ lungs. It’s not something that screams “We care about your health”, is it!!
 
And while most of the drugstore chains have voluntarily removed cigarettes from their shelves, one chain stands out as the worst offender: London Drugs. Yes, while their stores in all other provinces have removed them as mandated by provincial and territorial regulations, their BC stores continue to sell them.
Furthermore, while London Drugs continues to sell and profit from cigarette sales, they also participate in the BC Government taxpayer-funded Smoking Cessation Program. This program allows BC residents addicted to nicotine to gain access to specific nicotine gum, lozenges, patches for free, and, covers some of the costs of specific smoking cessation prescription drugs.
Simply put, they’re getting paid to help people quit while profiting from enabling those still addicted.


The hypocrisy, here, is blatant!

Do we really believe that this company is going to stop voluntarily when they are “playing for both teams”?
 
In 2007 when he was the opposition Health Critic, Adrian Dix pressed for BC to join other provinces in banning pharmacy sales, saying, "One of the next steps that's required to protect people from the impact of cigarette smoke is to make pharmacies, which are a place of health, come forward into the 21st Century, and not allow the sale of cigarettes in pharmacies." When asked 2 years ago why BC drugstores are allowed to continue selling cigarettes, he responded with: “British Columbia’s approach is to allow pharmacies to choose to end the sale of tobacco products rather than banning the sale of tobacco products in pharmacies and stores containing dispensary items.”
 
For these reasons, we urge you to demonstrate your high moral standards, sign this petition, and, send a strong message to BC Health Minister Adrian Dix to introduce legislation forbidding cigarettes to be sold in BC drugstores and pharmacies. Taxpayer money should NOT be given to pharmacies that blatantly and hypocritically take advantage of the program.

This petition is supported by Physicians for a Smoke-Free Canada. http://www.smoke-free.ca/pdf_1/pharmacy-backgrounder.pdf