September 10, 2008 / 5:51 AM / in 10 years

Walgreen fights tobacco sale ban in pharmacies: report

(Reuters) - Walgreen Co has asked a San Francisco state court to block implementation of a recently passed city order banning sale of tobacco products at pharmacies, effective October 1, the Wall Street Journal reported.

A Walgreens Pharmacy is picture in Burbank, California, June 23, 2008. Walgreen Co. on Monday posted a 2 percent increase in quarterly profit as a weak U.S. economy and slowing growth in demand for prescription drugs muted sales. REUTERS/Fred Prouser

The drugstore operator alleges the new law is anticompetitive and unconstitutional, because it does not ban tobacco sales at grocery stores and wholesale clubs that also have pharmacies.

The California Superior court set a September 30 hearing date for preliminary injunction. The order would affect 52 Walgreen pharmacies in San Francisco.

Walgreen was not immediately available for comment.

Reporting by Sweta Singh in Bangalore; editing by Sue Thomas

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