Pharmacies More Likely To Sell Tobacco In Poor And Latino Communities


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Poverty and the racial makeup of a community are a good indications of whether someone can go into the neighborhood pharmacy and find a pack of Marlboro cigarettes for sale, according to a Rutgers study.

The new research, published in GIScience and Remote Sensing by Andrew Peterson, an associate professor in the Rutgers School of Social Work, confirmed a disturbing trend: Tobacco products are more likely to be sold in pharmacies located in poor and Latino communities.
“Pharmacies are a critical component of the health care system and their role is contradicted by the sale of ,” says Peterson.”It is against the ethics of pharmacists to sell a product that is among the top preventable causes of death in the world.
Peterson’s research, with former Rutgers doctoral student Cory Morton, involved a rigorous analysis of the geographic distribution of pharmacies selling  products. The study combined administrative data, including  licenses and tobacco retail licenses, with U.S. census data and applied advanced geospatial analytic techniques to measure the relationship between people’s access to pharmacies that sold these products and their neighborhoods’ socio-demographic characteristics. The researchers discovered that the density of pharmacies selling tobacco is higher in poorer neighborhoods and Latino communities. Peterson’s team was the first in the country to do this type of analysis.
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