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San Francisco bans tobacco products at stores with pharmacies

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SAN FRANCISCO The ban on tobacco sales at San Francisco pharmacies went into effect Wednesday after a judge turned down Walgreens’ request for an injunction to halt the ban.

The board of supervisors enacted the ordinance in August. Supports said that pharmacies, as healthcare facilities, sent the implicit message that smoking was acceptable by selling products to promote health and selling cigarettes. Opponents called the ban unfair because it exempted mass merchandisers and supermarkets that operate pharmacies.

Philip Morris has also filed a lawsuit against the city, alleging that the ban violates its First Amendment right to advertise cigarettes.

Neighboring Marin County proposed a similar ban while the San Francisco ban was under debate. Boston has also proposed a ban that would cover pharmacies and college campuses.

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