The sale of cigarettes and alcohol by Indiana pharmacies and their familiarity with public health resources : a descriptive study
The focus of the study was to examine the extent to which pharmacies in Indiana are currently selling cigarettes and alcohol, the current opinions of pharmacists, to compare findings with the previous 1996 Indiana study and to determine pharmacists' familiarity with available public health resources. A survey questionnaire was designed based on previous studies. It was reviewed by a jury of experts and subsequently administered to the randomly selected pharmacies in Indiana. Of those pharmacies that were included in the study, 74.4% were returned. Collected data were analyzed and compared to findings from 1996 using descriptivestatistical methods.Findings revealed that fewer pharmacies sold cigarettes in 2001 (58.1%) than in 1996 (63.7%). Alcohol sales continued at 206 (43.7%) of pharmacies currently selling alcoholic beverages, which is relatively the same level as in 1996, 202 (41.9%) of pharmacies. There is an increasing trend in pharmacists that believe pharmacies should be selling neither cigarettes (+7.2%) nor alcohol (+4.7). Most pharmacists' (64%) agree that they play asignificant role in health promotion/disease prevention to the public, yet only 42.6% involve themselves with publichealth promotion activities. The capability of pharmacists to refer people to outside resources for educational needsis limited. Over three-fourths of pharmacists are either completely unfamiliar with or have no opinion about thethree most well-funded public health programs in the state of Indiana.