Walgreens fights city over tobacco sale ban

Walgreens heads to San Francisco Superior Court Tuesday in an effort to stop The City from prohibiting the sale of tobacco products at drug stores.

In July, the Board of Supervisors adopted a law proposed by Mayor Gavin Newsom that made San Francisco the first city in the nation to ban the sale of tobacco products in drug stores like Walgreens and Rite-Aid. The ban does not impact grocery stores or big-box stores that also have pharmacies, such as Safeway or Costco.

The ban is slated to go into effect Oct. 1. Walgreens argues that the ban is discriminatory since in only applies to drug stores.

“I’m really disappointed with [Walgreens],” said Mitch Katz, director of the city’s Department of Public Health.

jsabatini@sfexaminer.com

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