Boston To Ban Drugstore Tobacco Sales..

September 5, 2008 - Boston health regulators today gave initial approval to sweeping new tobacco control rules that would ban cigarette sales at Boston drugstores and on college campuses. The rules would also stamp out smoking on the patios of restaurants and bars with outside service; tobacco use has been banned inside since 2003. After a five-year grace period the city would shutter cigar bars, swank salons catering to tobacco connoisseurs, which were exempt from the earlier regulation.

The Boston Health Commission approved the new tobacco control rules 4-0 after an hour long hearing. The public will now get to comment, both in writing and at a public hearing that will be scheduled later.

The campaign is to further reduce cigarette smoking in the Boston area, especially among young people and the poor. Just like San Francisco, the city decided to target sales at the 74 pharmacies in Boston because stocking tobacco, the leading cause of preventable death in the U.S., is incompatible with the mission of a drug store. The measure are opposed by drug store chains and tobacco companies, which argue the rules unfairly limit businesses' right to sell a legal product.

Reference: Cigarette sales ban receives initial okay from Boston board by Stephen Smith and David Abel, Boston Globe Staff, 9/5/2008.

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