The sale of cigarettes and other tobacco products at drug stores would be illegal in San Francisco if an ordinance introduced this week by Mayor Gavin Newsom wins approval.Clearly this woman hasn't stepped inside a Walgreens or Rite-Aid anytime soon. Drug stores are NOT where you to go get healthy; in many areas, they are a substitute convenience store. A quick perusal of one this morning showed, in addition to a pharmacy (which is only open about 2/3rds of the daily operating hours), toys, greeting cards, shampoo, toothbrushes, makeup, a photo-printer, small household electronics (anyone need a rice cooker?), and even a small grocery section- chips, candy, cookies, eggs, milk, soda, sandwiches, and so on. If the standard is now, "where you go to get better", they had better start pulling that beef jerky. Last I checked that stuff had no nutritional value whatsoever.
The proposed law is designed to curb tobacco sales at stores where pharmacists work, but would not apply to big box businesses such as Costco or to grocery stores. The ordinance is just one of a series of measures supported by the mayor intended to promote healthy living among San Francisco residents, said Newsom spokeswoman Giselle Barry.
"The spirit of this is that pharmacies are places people go to get better," she said. "They shouldn't be selling products that cause cancer."
It gets better, I mean worse:
The legislation says that “through the sale of tobacco products, pharmacies convey tacit approval of the purchase and use of tobacco products.”
Yeah, they also tacitly approve of subtly making you feel ugly by selling you overpriced crap to cover your pimples, and of course eggs, which may or may not play havoc with your cholesterol. Run for the hills!
Public Health Department Director Mitch Katz, who would oversee the enforcement, said it is a “conflict of interest” for pharmacies to sell tobacco products. In some cases, he said, people go to the stores to buy medication to treat health complications brought on by smoking.
So the hell what? Should we ban stores from selling food "just in case" someone with a food addiction happens to walk through the doors?
Luckily, some people recognize this for the plain old foolishness that it is. Unfortunately, they're identified as smokers, so you've been pre-trained to dismiss anything they have to say.
Shamilla Jensen, who had purchased a pack of cigarettes from a Walgreens on Market Street, called the proposed law “silly.”Good point. We should really ban our troops from smoking while overseas. Not only is it contrary to their mission (stay alive), I'm pretty sure we're also obligated to "liberate" those poor Iraqis from their cultural addiction to tobacco. Let's start by destroying any hookah we can find. I'm sure that will build goodwill.
“Isn’t this a country that touts our freedom?” she said. “Why can’t someone be free to go to Walgreens and buy a pack of cigarettes or not buy a pack of cigarettes?”
And just in case some of you think that this nuttiness is a purely West Coast phenomenon...
Others are on the same track. Bills are pending in New Hampshire, Illinois and Tennessee to bar pharmacies with walk-in clinics from selling tobacco, and a bill in New York would apply to all pharmacies, including those in big stores such as Wal-Mart."Pharmacies are places we go to get healthy," says Assemblyman Sam Hoyt, author of the New York proposal. "It just seems inappropriate that on the other hand, they sell something that kills."
Hey, they're even using the same talking points. How cute.
On the plus side, though, we get to hear funny alarmist talk from smoking advocates:
"We're seeing a real trend in which fewer and fewer stores want to be associated with the harm caused by cigarettes," says Matt Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. As fewer stores sell cigarettes, he says, "the cultural norm becomes not smoking."I smell a new movie in the works- The Hardy Boys and (Cigarette) Smuggler's Cove.
That doesn't necessarily happen, says Gary Nolan, national spokesman for Citizens Freedom Alliance, a group that defends smokers rights and the free market.Smokers won't stop but will be driven to a black market run by smugglers, he says.
Coming this summer.