San Francisco's proposed tobacco sales ban may soon see vote

SAN FRANCISCO An ordinance to ban tobacco sales at San Francisco pharmacies and drug stores could soon go to a vote.

The City Operations and Neighborhood Services Committee of the Board of Supervisors will discuss the proposed ban in a public meeting Thursday, according to an agenda posted on the board’s Web site Friday afternoon.

The ban, an amendment to the city’s health code that Mayor Gavin Newsom proposed April 29, would affect all pharmacies and drug stores, but not supermarkets or big-box stores that operate pharmacies.

Supporters of the ban argue that as health-care facilities, pharmacies and drug stores convey mixed messages by selling products to promote health and tobacco products, which are a leading cause of death in the United States. Opponents, including chain drug stores, say the ban unfairly targets drug stores while limiting consumer choice.

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