Retailers inclined to start selling cigarettes and tobacco products will face tougher city regulations under proposals being considered by City Hall.
The city will boost the permit fee for the sale of tobacco products to $300, under the proposal. Currently, the fee is $50.
The fee change would take effect no earlier than Nov. 2 and retailers who apply before then can pay the $50 fee for 2017.
The city will also limit the number of permits it issues based on neighborhood population and place a restriction on retailers operating within 500 feet of a school, according to the Public Health Commissioner’s Office. The restriction won’t apply to retailers who have permits issued before Jan. 1, 2017.
Mayor Jim Kenney told CBS Philly that the proposed regulations are aimed at reducing the tobacco temptation for teenagers.
“Every store that sells cigarettes is a site for point of sale marketing to kids,” Kenney said. “The stores promote tobacco with things big pack displays by the cash registers, posters, flavored blueberry tobacco products like blueberry flavored cigars, special discounts and buy one get one free offers. These marketing techniques work, which is why tobacco companies spend so much on them.”
The city also plans to standardize the penalty for selling tobacco products to minors. Retailers who violate the ban on sales to minors three times within two years will face a year-long suspension of its permit, according to the proposal.
The plan comes on the heels of an increased cigarette tax that went into effect across Pennsylvania and added to the hefty price of a pack of cigarettes in Philadelphia, where the city places an additional $2 tax on each pack, NBC 10 reported.