Health Activists Advocate Banning Tobbaco from Retail Sale

Photo: Postimees/Scanpix
7/14/2011 3:30 PM

Advocates of public health are preparing to send the Ministry of Social Affairs a proposal asking them to ban tobacco products from retail stores and allow them only to be sold in pharmacies.

"A debate must arise both in our society and political circles because the chronic use of tobacco in Estonia causes an average of 2,000 deaths per year," said public health expert Andrus Lipland.

In the fall, the Parliament of Iceland will start discussing a draft act, which would allow cigarettes to be sold only in pharmacies on the basis of prescriptions, wrote Õhtuleht. Lipland finds the radical measure positive and necessary.

Some local pharmacists seem to also agree with the plan and are ready to sell cigarettes if the right conditions are created.

According to Kaidi Horn, head pharmacist of the Pharmacists' Association, Iceland has often stood out for implementing radical measures. "Obviously [those steps] have also given results, because during the last 20 years, smoking rates [in Iceland] have been reduced from 30 to 15 percent," she said.


Ingrid Teesalu

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