HC Deb 03 March 1981 vol 1000 c114
2. Mr. Nicholas Baker

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what discussions he is having with the Pharmaceutical Society about the sale of tobacco products by pharmacists.

The Under-Secretary of State for Health and Social Security (Sir George Young)

None, Sir, but I am considering whether an approach would be worth while.

Mr. Baker

Will my hon. Friend consider giving his encouragement and support to the Pharmaceutical Society, which is in the process of discussing a ban on the sale by its members of tobacco products? Will he agree that it is inconsistent that people who are supposed to be guardians of the public health should sell tobacco products?

Sir George Young

Yes, I agree. It is deplorable that any member of the health professions should trade in products that are so harmful to health.

Mr. Kilroy-Silk

Given the way in which the tobacco companies have been dragging their feet over the restriction on advertising, does the Minister accept that it is time to bring tobacco within the terms of the Medicines Act 1968?

Sir George Young

I have nothing to add to what my right hon. Friend said in his remarks on this subject on 21 November. We have recently concluded a voluntary agreement with the Tobacco Advisory Council that covers the matter, and when that agreement runs out in July 1982 it will be for the House to consider what might follow it.