Monday, October 20, 2008

Tobacco Ban

You can find pipes, cigarettes and tobacco for sale at Walgreens pharmacy. The city will issue an order banning sales of smoking products at all pharmacies.

Now Walgreen Co is asking a state court to block the ban complaining the new law is anticompetitive and unconstitutional. Walgreen Co answers prohibitions are not in place at grocery stores and whole clubs like Sam’s and Costco that also have drugstores. All 52 Walgreen chemist’s shops in the city would be affected. The city is also preparing to enact regulations that would ban the sale of tobacco products at college campuses and pharmacies aimed at reducing smoking among youth.

The San Francisco city board of supervisors in two 8-3 votes, made the city the first in the country to stop the sale of cigarettes at drugstores. The legislation is modeled on the ban already in place in eight Canadian provinces and is supported by the California Medical Association and the American Cancer Society. The legislators felt that sick people getting prescriptions filled should not be faced with health destroying tobacco products at the drugstore. Besides Boston, expect Illinois, New York, Rhode Island and Tennessee to consider tobacco-sale prohibitions this year.

The authority hopes to reduce premature death, smoking-related illnesses and the cost to public health caused by tobacco, which kills more than 1.4 million every year according to the WHO (World Health Organization).

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