More progress towards reducing tobacco use

An article by USA today (click here for article) reported that retail chains are making progress towards reducing tobacco use in the US. More specifically, New Hampshire, Illinois, and Tennessee all have Bills pending to bar pharmacies with walk in clinics from selling tobacco products. New York has a Bill that would ban all pharmacies, including Wal-Mart from selling tobacco products. This is a large step towards eliminating many risks that are associated with the use of tobacco products. As it is right now, many grocery stores no longer carry tobacco products. They don’t want to be associated with the sale of carcinogens.

Many argue that the government should not step in and tell people what they can and cannot sell, but they have already done this fairly successfully with the sale of alcohol products. It is more than likely to be successful with the sale of tobacco products. There was an interesting quote in the article from Bill Phelps, spokesman for Philip Morris the number one cigarette maker in the world. He doesn’t think that the government should impose bans on tobacco products, ‘we think retailers should be able to decide’. I am sure the beer companies felt the same way when the drinking age was raised from 18 years to 21 years. But this policy has helped save many lives in the United States.

Since there isn’t a magic pill that is going to reverse the damage that cigarette smoking does to the body, society is going to have to change its views towards tobacco use. It is a choice and an unhealthy one at that. If people start to perceive tobacco use as being a stigma, then they will be less apt to use it. For those who have already started using tobacco, there is an option to stop. Quitting will only put wealthy companies like Philip Morris out of business and help greatly reduce your risk of preventable death.

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