Contra Costa County Approves Ordinances Addressing Syringe Sales, Healthy Snacks
The Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved an ordinance to allow the sale of syringes without a prescription, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Under the ordinance -- which is intended to help reduce the spread of HIV, hepatitis C and other blood-borne diseases -- pharmacies that register with the county health department can sell as many as 10 needles to anyone who is age 18 or older.
The ordinance also requires participating pharmacies to provide educational and referral information and written and verbal counseling to people receiving the needles. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) in September enacted legislation authorizing such partnerships between pharmacies and local and state health officials (San Francisco Chronicle, 12/15). Under the state law, the Department of Health Services is responsible for evaluating local syringe sales and must report the results to the Legislature, according to the Contra Costa Times (Felsenfeld, Contra Costa Times, 12/14).
In related news, the board of supervisors on Tuesday also approved an ordinance requiring half of "sweet and salty treats" in vending machines in county government buildings to be replaced with more nutritious snack foods, the Chronicle reports. The proposal is "believed to be a first for county government buildings," according to the Chronicle (Fulbright, San Francisco Chronicle, 12/15).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.