San Francisco Bans Cigarette Sales at Pharmacies

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San Francisco Bans Cigarette Sales at Pharmacies

Supermarkets operating pharmacies were spared yesterday when San Francisco passed a law forbidding the sale of tobacco products at pharmacies.

Walgreens unsuccessfully sought an emergency injunction preventing the law from taking effect, and has vowed to appeal the ruling and continue its fight to have the ban overturned, according to published reports. Since the ban doesn't extend to grocery stores or mass merchandisers that also have pharmacies, Walgreens claims it violates the law.

Judge PeterBusch noted that the Board of Supervisors relied on figures indicating that almost two-thirds of drugstore sales come from the pharmacy business, compared with less than 10 percent in grocery stores and less than 2 percent in big box stores.

Reports said the law will probably serve as a catalyst for similar legislation in other cities across the country.