After cigarettes and Happy Meals, what will San Francisco supervisors ban next?

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A study released by California state officials on Monday showed adults in urban San Francisco had one of the highest rates of smoking in the state at 13.5 percent, exceeded only by Sacramento at 14 percent, home to the state’s lawmakers.

The study raises questions about the effectiveness of moves in recent years by the liberal San Francisco County Supervisors in banning products that they decide are harmful to the public. In November, McDonald’s Happy Meals were banned in San Francisco County because the board said the toys enticed children into eating foods that do not meet the board’s nutritional guidelines.

County supervisors banned tobacco products from being sold in drugstores in 2008, the same year for which the recent report was prepared. The supervisors voted this year to extend the tobacco ban to supermarkets and big-box retail operations.

While Sacramento has even higher rates of smoking, the smart money says that lawmakers there won’t do anything to cut off their supply of tobacco. After all, with a $25 billion deficit looming this year, the legislature needs all the nicotine they can get their hands on, to keep calm during the endless budget fights.

San Francisco Chronicle

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