In an effort that began six years ago and came up for debate again today in the Board of Supes' Neighborhood Services and Safety Committee, the City may limit the number of businesses permitted to sell tobacco products to under 500, essentially cutting the number in half. There are currently 1,000 businesses across the city selling cigarettes, e-cigs, and other tobacco stuffs, as the Examiner tells us, and the new proposal would bring that number down to 45 per district, or 495 in total.
Critics would say this is just another notch in San Francisco's nanny-state belt, but proponents of tobacco density measures like this say that the more availability there is of tobacco in any given neighborhood, the more there's an implication that it's okay and normal to take up smoking.
The livelihoods of store owners in poor neighborhoods whose booze and cigarette sells are likely their bread and butter are in question here too, and that will likely be debated as well. And neighborhoods like the Tenderloin would be affected the most considering the fact that there's approximately 45 tobacco-selling businesses per block and I might add not a ton of impressionable youths!
Anyway smoking is bad, and this measure comes on the heels of the Board's ban on e-cigarettes in public spaces where regular smoking is already banned, which was approved unanimously back in March.