San Francisco Considers Banning Future Tobacconists
San Francisco is considering an ordinance that would ban new tobacco retail outlets in the city, the Christian Science Monitor reports. San Francisco smokers already are restricted in where they can smoke and where they can purchase tobacco products, but the Christian Science Monitor reports that the "move to squeeze tobacco businesses is one of the newest fronts in a national battle" against tobacco. Marice Ashe of the Technical Assistance Legal Center, which advises cities on how to restrict tobacco, said that the ordinance is "a brand new tool" tobacco opponents are using to curtail tobacco sales. Such was, the case earlier this year when the Oakland City Council approved a ban on any new large-scale tobacco stores near homes or facilities "frequented by children." San Francisco's plan, introduced by city Supervisor Tom Ammiano, is "even more sweeping." If enacted, San Francisco's ordinance would prevent any retail business that devotes more than 25% of its floor space to tobacco products from opening. It would not, however, affect existing tobacco shops. If approved, the ordinance would be one of the most restrictive antitobacco measures in the nation, as it targets businesses and not just tobacco advertising or smokers themselves. Critics say the proposal is "politically motivated" and attacks an "unpopular, but legal product." Supporters, however, say smoking is a "public health hazard" that warrants tight regulation (Slambrouck, Christian Science Monitor, 11/10).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.