No Smokes for S.F. Pharmacies
Change is in the air in San Francisco-or at least in its pharmacies. A law preventing city pharmacies from selling tobacco products took effect this month.
The ban is the first of its kind in the U.S., but advocates say it follows the stance taken by many Canadian provinces that tobacco and health care don't mix.
"People go to their neighborhood pharmacies to buy products to stay healthy and to get better when they are sick, not to buy products that kill," said Robin Corelli, Professor of Clinical Pharmacy at the UCSF School of Pharmacy in a news release. "It's unconscionable for a health care business to promote or profit from the sale of the leading cause of preventable death in the U.S."
The law has raised considerable opposition among some national pharmacy chains and cigarette manufacturers. Pharmacy chain Walgreens and tobacco company Philip Morris both filed restraining order requests against the city-which were denied-and have now promised legal action.
Walgreens will appeal the court decision, reported the San Francisco Business Times. Meanwhile, Philip Morris has already filed a federal lawsuit, arguing that the ban suppresses their First Amendment right of freedom of expression to block their communications with adult smokers, wrote the San Francisco Chronicle.
However, there are no limits in sight for bans on tobacco sales. New York has a similar proposal in its legislative pipeline, while New Hampshire, Illinois and Tennessee have proposed restricting tobacco sales in pharmacies with walk-in clinics.