Tobacco Control and Local Boards of Health: Sample Letter

[Address]

Dear City/Town Board of Health: 
 
My name is [XX], I have been a [TOWN NAME] resident for [NUMBER OF] years. I am also a practicing physician.  I am writing to express my support for eliminating the sale of tobacco products in all facilities where health care professionals are employed including pharmacies, and chain stores that house pharmacies such as grocery stores and large discount stores.
The medical evidence on tobacco use is clear.  Tobacco products are the single most preventable cause of premature death and disability in the United States and in Massachusetts today. As a health professional, I strongly believe that I have a special obligation to promote the public health whenever possible and strongly discourage tobacco use. Smokers trying to quit should be able to go into a pharmacy knowing they will not have to see tobacco products displayed next to "the patch" and nicotine gum designed to help their efforts to quit.  

Pharmacists are trusted health care professionals and part of the larger provider team. As part of our health care delivery system, pharmacies, like hospitals and clinics, should be prohibited from selling tobacco products. For 40 years, the American Pharmaceutical Association has held the same position that "the mass display of cigarettes in pharmacies is in direct contradiction to the role of a pharmacy as a public health facility."

Over the past 3 years, a growing number of cities and towns across Massachusetts have prohibited the sale of tobacco being sold in these establishments including Boston, Fall River, and Worcester.  I strongly urge you to support the proposal that our community join the other communities in Massachusetts and support the ban on the sale of tobacco products in pharmacies in [NAME OF TOWN].

Thank you for your consideration of this request.

[Name, Title]
[Home address]
[Contact information]

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