Advocates for a smoke-free British Columbia

Tobacco-free pharmacies

BC is the only province in Canada where you can still buy tobacco products in the same shop as a pharmacy. We believe pharmacies and tobacco sales are incompatible.

    People go to their neighborhood pharmacies to buy products to stay healthy and to get better when they’re sick, not to buy toxic, disease-causing products that kill. It's not right for a healthcare business to profit from the sale of cigarettes, a leading cause of preventable death in Canada today.

    There are approximately 1,000 retail pharmacies in BC. Many pharmacist-owned and operated stores have already made the laudable decision not to sell cigarettes. Unfortunately, this accounts for just over half of the pharmacies in BC. The others, primarily larger chain stores, have not yet made the commitment to stop selling cigarettes.

    We’d like to see the BC government ban tobacco from pharmacy shelves so these healthcare professionals can focus on their core business of dispensing healthcare products and advice. This is a sound strategy to reduce the burden of future healthcare costs caused by smoking-related illness. And, it will help British Columbians live longer, healthier lives.
  • BC lags behind
    BC is the only jurisdiction in Canada that hasn't banned tobacco sales in pharmacies.
  • Tobacco products are the #1 cause of preventable death
    Tobacco should not be sold in pharmacies where they have exclusive control of dispensing many medications and are part of the health-care system.
  • Big pharmacy chains are cashing in
    Despite promoting their health-care role in ADs, they are still profiting from tobacco sales. This is a contradiction.