A New Prescription for Tobacco-free Pharmacies

Ugh. Earlier this week the appeals court judges sided with Walgreens against San Francisco’s tobacco-free pharmacy law — quite a disappointment.

Court of Appeal Justice William McGuiness is quoted as saying, “There is no rational basis to believe the supposed implied message conveyed by selling tobacco products at a Walgreens that has a licensed pharmacy in the back of the store is different in any meaningful way from the implied message conveyed by selling such products at a supermarket or big box store that contains a licensed pharmacy.”

As TALC points out, the way to get around this concern is simply to pass a broader law that prohibits tobacco sales from any store with a pharmacy (whether it’s a drugstore, grocery, or big box). 

Well, I’m all for that. I’m happy to remove the distinction between pharmacies and all stores with pharmacies. Wouldn’t it be great if we respond to this setback by getting even broader laws passed? Probably not what those seeking to profit from tobacco sales wanted!

–Vanessa Marvin

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