, Volume 25, Issue 4, pp 343-355

Kentucky Pharmacists' Opinions and Practices Related to the Sale of Cigarettes and Alcohol in Pharmacies

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Abstract

The objective of the study was to augment important findings from a 1996 statewide survey of Indiana pharmacists regarding their opinions and practices related to the sale of cigarettes and alcohol in pharmacies. More specifically, this study was designed (1) to determine opinions and practices of Kentucky pharmacists' related to the sale of cigarettes and alcohol; (2) compare these findings with results from the Indiana study; and (3) to gather information on health promotion activities by Kentucky pharmacists. A structured survey questionnaire was designed and reviewed by a jury of experts and subsequently administered to half of the 1182 pharmacies in Kentucky. Collected data were analyzed by using descriptive and inferential statistical methods. Findings reveal that 45 percent of responding pharmacists sell cigarettes in their stores even though 88 percent think that their stores should not sell cigarettes. Approximately 34 percent of the pharmacies in non-dry counties sell alcoholic beverages while more than four-fifths of the pharmacists (81%) think pharmacies should not sell alcoholic beverages. After adjusting by type of pharmacy, no statistical difference was found in retail-chain pharmacy sales of cigarettes and alcohol in either Kentucky or Indiana. However, independent pharmacies in Kentucky were less likely to sell cigarettes and alcohol compared to independent Indiana pharmacies. Study results also revealed that most pharmacists agree the use of cigarettes and alcohol are important causes of morbidity and pre-mature mortality and that pharmacists should play a role in health promotion and disease prevention through their relationship with the public. However, the majority do not ask their patients about their smoking and alcohol habits and do not participate in health education/promotion programs for the general community.