06 | 21 | 2017

Neighborhood Pharmacy Group Ends Sale of Tobacco Products

Neighborhood Pharmacy Group Ends Sale of Tobacco Products
Julia Cuthbertson
Phone: (203) 500-0900
Brooklyn, NY - Drugstores and pharmacies help customers treat, manage and combat chronic disease. MedAid Pharmacy Group, a collective of five neighborhood pharmacies located in Brooklyn and Queens, has made a commitment to end the sale of tobacco products and electronic cigarettes in all  of their locations.
Locations in Brooklyn include: Al Medina Pharmacy Inc. (1242 Flatbush Ave.), Raees Pharmacy Inc. (750 Flatbush Ave.), Healthmax Pharmacy Inc. (2749 Pitkin Ave.), and Ditmas Park Pharmacy Inc. (542 Ralph Ave.). Al Haqq Pharmacy Inc. (7507 101st Ave.) is located in Ozone Park, Queens.
The pharmacy group’s owner has partnered with Public Health Solutions’ NYC Smoke-Free program to make the move toward improving community health. Iqbal Ali, owner of the pharmacies, said “We are in the business of health promotion.  It doesn’t make sense for us to sell tobacco products.  We run programs all year on helping our residents make the right choices for their health.  This is just an extension of our commitment to our patients.”
Currently, over 500 pharmacies in NYC still sell tobacco. Ali and MedAid Pharmacy group partnered closely with Public Health Solutions’ NYC Smoke-Free program to take the bold step in reducing this number. 
Julia Cuthbertson, Brooklyn Community Engagement Coordinator with Public Health Solutions’ NYC Smoke-Free program, commended Ali and MedAid Pharmacy Group for getting out of the tobacco business and putting the health of their clients first. “It’s illogical that so many pharmacies are still selling these toxic and dangerous products, while simultaneously treating customers for tobacco-related illnesses."  
"Making this commitment sends a message to the neighborhood that MedAid cares for their customers and patients”, said Joel Bhuiyan of NYC Smoke-Free in Queens. “ They are the crucial frontline provider of health care and medications in our communities.”
MedAid made this move in response to the recent World No Tobacco Day, a day of observance established by the World Health Organization (WHO) and held annually on May 31st to highlight the health effects and other risks of tobacco use and exposure. World No Tobacco Day 2017 served the purpose of highlighting how tobacco threatens the development of nations worldwide. 
For more information on Public Health Solutions’ NYC Smoke-Free program or to lend support in ending NYC’s devastating tobacco epidemic, please visit www.NYCSmokeFree.org  or follow us on social media at facebook.com/NYCSmokeFree or Twitter @NYCSmokeFree.
NYC Smoke-Free - a program of Public Health Solutions, NYC Smoke-Free works to protect the health of New Yorkers through tobacco control policy, advocacy, and education. Formerly the NYC Coalition for a Smoke-Free City, we partner with community members, legislators, and health advocates to support local efforts to end the devastating tobacco epidemic throughout NYC. We believe every New Yorker has the right to breathe clean, smoke-free air where they live, work and play.
Public Health Solutions - As one of the largest public health service nonprofit organizations in New York City, Public Health Solutions improves health among the city’s most vulnerable populations by tackling social, physical, and environmental factors that impact New Yorkers’ ability to thrive. Today PHS serves 200,000+ New Yorkers annually, and we support the work of more than 600 community-based nonprofit organizations. We implement innovative, cost-effective population-based health programs; conduct research providing insight on effective public health interventions; and provide services to government and other nonprofits to address public health issues. Together with our colleagues in the service sector, government, philanthropy and policy organizations, we are thought leaders and cutting-edge public health professionals in New York City and New York State. To learn more, please visit us at www.healthsolutions.org.