While his re-election bid is still some two years away, Supervisor Eric Mar evidently doesn’t care much about courting the smokers’ vote.
The author of San Francisco’s toughened anti-smoking laws took steps Tuesday to make it even slightly more difficult to find a pack of cancer sticks in San Francisco, when he introduced legislation that would ban outright the sale of smokes at every city pharmacy.
Laws now on the books prohibit cigarette sales at pharmacies, but allow exemptions for “big box stores” or “general grocery stores” that have pharmacies to keep on slangin’ smokes. Mar’s new legislation removes that exemption, and clarifies that any retailer that sells pills cannot also sell smokes.
Other counties in California are pursuing bans similar to San Francisco’s.
Walgreen Co., the company that owns the lovely neighborhood Walgreen’s drugstores around San Francisco, is still fighting in court the original ban, enacted in 2008. It’s unclear whether companies like Costco Wholesale Corp. or Safeway Inc., who would have to pull smokes from the sales floors of stores with pharmacies, will now join in on the litigating fun and also move to block the ban.
If the legislation is passed, it’d still be relatively easy to find cigarettes in San Francisco: both Mom & Pop corner stores and corporate bodegas will sell you Marlboros and Camels, and no efforts to put a stop to that are currently underway.