Boston ban on cigarette sales in retail drug stores in effect

2/9/2009

BOSTON Boston’s ban on cigarette sales in retail pharmacies and on college campuses has now gone into effect, officially making it the second city in the nation to extinguish tobacco sales within retail pharmacies.

The city’s public health commission passed the regulations about two months ago. The ban pulls the plug on cigarette sales in retail pharmacies and on college campuses, and also includes a 10-year grace period for cigar bars before these businesses much close up shop.

In addition, new cigar bars or hookah lounges, where patrons take long drags on flavored tobacco from communal pipe, have not been allowed to open in the city.

Boston originally banned smoking in bars and restaurants in 2003.

Last year, San Francisco signed into law an ordinance to ban the city’s retail pharmacies from selling tobacco products.

As previously reported by Drug Store News, The National Association of Chain Drug Stores has expressed opposition to such a ban. “This is not a tobacco issue, but rather a fairness issue,” a representative of the organization has said. “For example, we would feel the same if the proposal were to ban certain food products because they are not considered to be on the correct side of the ‘healthy’ line.”

NACDS has also argued that banning cigarette sales in retail pharmacy could drive smokers away from pharmacies, which often carry smoking-cessation products and advice, to retailers that don’t.

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