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California Briefing / SAN FRANCISCO

Tobacco law challenge denied

October 01, 2008|From the Associated Press

A judge has denied a request by Walgreen Co. to halt a new San Francisco law that bars pharmacies from selling cigarettes and other tobacco products.

The law, scheduled to go into effect today, was passed in July. Walgreen says it plans to appeal the decision issued Tuesday by Superior Court Judge Peter Busch.

Mayor Gavin Newsom says he hopes Deerfield, Ill.-based Walgreen will reconsider its appeal, saying people should use pharmacies to improve their health and not to buy cancer-causing cigarettes. The ban does not cover "big-box" retail stores like Costco.

Philip Morris USA, the nation's No. 1 cigarette maker, has filed a federal lawsuit claiming the law is unconstitutional.

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