The mayor of Philadelphia last week proposed banning tobacco sales in pharmacies and drug stores.
This story jogged my memory that I think San Francisco did the same thing. Sure enough, San Francisco did ban tobacco sales in pharmacies, in fact some time ago — 2008 — longer ago than I remember.
City councilwoman Marian Tasco submitted the bill on behalf of Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter.
Nutter is a longtime anti-smoking advocate. He advocated for a state bill allowing Philadelphia to impose a $2 a pack cigarette tax (Wow, the Pennsylvania cigarette tax is $1.60 a tax, so that’s a $3.60 tax on a pack of cigarettes in Philadelphia — cigarettes have to be pretty pricey there.). He also signed a bill banning smoking in parks and as a city councilman, pushed for a ban on smoking in bars and restaurants. (The state of Pennsylvania has a very weak smoking ban that still allows smoking in bars.)
CVS Pharmacies recently banned all tobacco sales at its chain of drug stores nationwide. The chain has reported that the move has not hurt its overall revenues and has urged other drug store chains to do the same. CVS also dropped out of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce because that group has been lobbying around the world to loosen nations’ laws restricting tobacco marketing and packaging.
So, it sounds like Philadelphia is vying with New York City and San Francisco to be one of the most smoking-unfriendly cities in the U.S. San Francisco, which recently banned chewing tobacco at AT&T Park, isn’t particularly friendly to tobacco in general.