City Hall Watch: Tobacco-sales ban rejected 

A proposal to ban the sale of tobacco products within 1,000 feet of schools was snuffed out Tuesday and sent back to the drawing board.

Intended to curb smoking among kids, Mayor Gavin Newsom’s legislation to ban tobacco sales near schools was opposed by the business owners it would impact. Members of the Board of Supervisors have questioned the soundness of policies that restrict business.

On Tuesday, Supervisor John Avalos made a motion to send the legislation back to a board committee for further discussion about “our enforcement efforts and also ways that we could provide a carrot approach to minimize the sale of tobacco in San Francisco.” The motion was unanimously supported.

“It gives an opportunity to find common ground,” Newsom spokesman Tony Winnicker said. “This is a common-sense measure that’s enacted in many cities already.”

Avalos also said anti-smoking advocates are working on strengthening provisions around limiting the sale of tobacco and tobacco products and those efforts should be part of the discussion.

Newsom’s proposal is part of a larger trend by The City to extinguish smoking. Recent efforts include the increase of purchasing a package of cigarettes with a 20-cent litter fee, prohibiting the sale of tobacco in drugstores and expanding no-smoking zones throughout San Francisco.


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