Magazine article Drug Topics

San Francisco Bans Pharmacy Tobacco Sales in All Locations

Magazine article Drug Topics

San Francisco Bans Pharmacy Tobacco Sales in All Locations

Article excerpt

UPDATE: S.F. TOBACCO SUIT

After much legal wrangling, pharmacies in San Francisco can no longer carry cigarettes. Although the San Francisco Board of Supervisors ruled in 2008 that stores with pharmacies could not sell tobacco products, the ordinance did not apply to grocery stores and big-box retailers with pharmacies.

San Francisco is now one of only a few cities in the United States (others are Boston and Richmond, Calif.) to pass ordinances barring pharmacy tobacco sales.

In 2008, San Francisco's tobacco ordinance stipulated that grocery stores and big-box stores were not considered pharmacies, so the law did not apply to them. That ordinance was upheld when Phillip Morris and Walgreens sued the city. Phillip Morris executives were concerned about how the ordinance would affect their company's advertising. In its complaint, Walgreens said that the law did not apply equally to all pharmacies in the city, requiring only some pharmacies to stop carrying tobacco products.

The case was dismissed.

In early November 2010, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors ruled that the sales of tobacco products would be prohibited in all stores with pharmacies, including big-box retailers and grocery stores. …

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