Federal Court Backs S.F. Ban on Drugstore Cigarette Sales
A federal appeals court has dismissed a lawsuit filed by Philip Morris and cleared the way for the city of San Francisco to enforce a law banning cigarette sales in pharmacies, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Sept. 10.
The cigarette maker opposed the law on free speech grounds, saying the ordinance — the first of its kind in the U.S. — infringed on its rights to advertise to drugstore customers. But the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the law “limits where cigarettes may be sold; it doesn’t prevent (Philip Morris) from advertising.”
A separate lawsuit filed by Walgreens also opposes the law, saying it discriminates against drugstores by allowing cigarette sales at other types of businesses that have pharmacies, such as retailers like Wal-Mart and supermarkets.