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Tobacco Ban Fight - Walgreens v. San Francisco

Posted by Jane Akre
Wednesday, September 10, 2008 10:09 AM EST
Category: Major Medical, Protecting Your Family
Tags: Tobacco, Tobacco-Products, Smoking, Lung Cancer, Smoking-Related Illness, Defective and Dangerous Products, Big Tobacco, Chantix

Walgreens pharmacy claims unfair a san francisco ban on cigarette sales.  



IMAGE SOURCE: © iStockPhoto / quit smoking / author: RobHadfield


Go into any Walgreens pharmacy and you can find cigarettes, pipes and tobacco for sale.

But not in San Francisco.

Effective October 1, the city will put into place an order banning sales of tobacco products at all pharmacies.

Now Walgreen Co is asking a state court to block the ban complaining the new law is unconstitutional and anticompetitive.  Walgreen Co says bans are not in place at grocery stores and whole clubs like Sam’s and Costco that also have pharmacies.  

Expect a September 30th court hearing in California Superior court to answer the preliminary injunction.

All 52 Walgreen pharmacies in the city would be affected.

According to an article in the Boston Globe, that city is also preparing to enact regulations that would prohibit the sale of tobacco products at pharmacies and college campuses aimed at reducing smoking among young people.

Last month, 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 pharmacies.

The law is modeled on the ban already in place in eight Canadian provinces and is supported by the American Cancer Society and the California Medical Association.

The lawmakers felt that sick people getting prescriptions filled should not be faced with health destroying tobacco products at the pharmacy.

Besides Boston, expect New York, Illinois, Rhode Island and Tennessee to consider tobacco-sale bans this year.

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

Walgreens attorney Daniel Kolkey tells KTVU in Oakland he doesn’t buy that argument. "Walgreens doesn't understand why it should lose all these sales in pursuit of an ordinance that doesn't reduce any tobacco sales at all but shifts them to Walgreens' competitors."

A Walgreen spokesman, Michael Polzin told the Wall Street Journal, “This is about basic fairness, singling out drug stores and not other retailers with pharmacies.” #

1 Comment

Posted by Reid Pierre Conditn
Saturday, September 13, 2008 6:07 PM EST

The term "premature death" (used by anti-tobacco activists) slays me! Does this term reflect an accepted medical concept? Is there a parallel concept of "mature death" in the sense, I would guess, of "natural death?" And if so, would death on account of, say, "congestive heart failure" or "lung cancer" be considered natural or unnatural? Please comment if you are a medical professional. I am not.

Comments for this article are closed.

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