No matter how many times the victims are bludgeoned with sledge hammers they childishly persist in standing in place, waiting for the next blow to the head to fall. A case in point is Walgreens, a national chain of drugstores, which is taking the city of San Francisco to court. At issue is the city’s "first in the nation" ban on selling tobacco products in pharmacies. Not all pharmacies and therein lies Walgreens’ argument, which, even if successful initially, will fail in the long term.

In July the tobacco control industry persuaded the San Francisco Board of Supervisors pass a law that prohibits drug stores from selling cigarettes. The ostensible rationale for imposing this law was that sick people shouldn’t have to be exposed to the sight of packs of cigarettes in an establishment they patronize to obtain the drugs they need to combat illness. The real purpose of the legislation is twofold: demonize tobacco and further the marketing plan of smoking cessation providers. The co-mingling of social engineering with mercantile interest is a component of liberal fascism, a coercive dogma that substitutes swastikas with smiley faces.

The tobacco prohibition applies to large drugs stores such as Walgreens and Rite Aid as well as the smaller, independent pharmacies. It doesn’t apply to grocery stores that also contain pharmacies. That’s just not fair, according to Walgreens. Smokers will just buy their smokes down the street and by they way, Walgreens has pharmacists that are trained "to counsel smokers on smoking cessation products and how to go about kicking their habit." The current law is unfair. Walgreens, in short, wants to level the playing field.

Leveling the playing field has been the losers’ cry for decades. It erupts when governments ban smoking in restaurants and those establishments sue not on the grounds that no evidence exists that secondhand smoke is harmful but that bar/restaurants, where smoking is allowed, have an advantage. Government levels the playing field by banning smoking wherever food is served. The bar/restaurants then complain that standalone bars, where smoking is allowed, have an advantage. Government again levels the playing field by banning smoking in all hospitality venues. The level playing field has been effected and all businesses suffer as smokers hit the road.

Walgreens may prevail in its suit but down the road it, if trends continue, will most certainly not be allowed to sell tobacco products. Tobacco control’s incremental plan is to eliminate gradually the places where tobacco is sold until only licensed smoke shops may sell cigarettes. At that point it will be no problem to eliminate the small, politically weak smoke shops. Walgreens, rather than taking the city of San Francisco to court for prohibiting the lawful sale of a legal product, wastes its time and money in a Kabuki dance choreographed by people who want to end smoking completely.



Leave a Reply

Avatar placeholder