For kids, finding cigs easy as ABC

Peer pressure is only part of the youth smoking problem in Pennsylvania and Philadelphia.

In just one month last fall, local health officials issued fines to almost 300 stores that peddle cigarettes for selling them to underage smokers.

Hundreds of stores get fined every year, according to city figures, a disturbing amount of nonchalance when it comes to youth smoking that has pushed Philadelphia atop a list of big cities when it comes to youth smoking.

Cheap prices and so many stores that sell packs has led to youth smoking declines seemingly hit a wall the past couple years.

Councilwoman Marian Tasco, who sponsored a new law that nearly tripled fines for cigarette sellers to minors last month, said the city still needs strong enforcement for it to work.

The number of tobacco retailers in Philadelphia surpasses that of most other large cities. A state tobacco license only costs $25.  Of the city’s 4,398 tobacco retailers — one retailer for every 37 kids ages 10 to 17 — 75 percent are located within two blocks of a school.

“Youth are constantly bombarded with advertisements and appearances of cigarettes in stores,” said Deborah Brown, president/CEO of American Lung Association of Mid-Atlantic.

Annual testing

Every tobacco vendor in the city is tested at least once a year. Vendors cited are
targeted for repeat testing again in the same year.

Lauren Gemberling, program manager for the Philadelphia Health Promotion Council, said the citation rate is usually around 22 percent, but has noticeably increased recently, and while takeout restaurants once were by far the biggest offenders, all types of vendors are selling to youth now, even chains.

She said the sagging economy may be to blame.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Tracy Morgan sues Wal-mart over deadly crash

Actor and comedian Tracy Morgan has sued Wal-Mart Stores Inc. in a New Jersey federal court, alleging the retailer was negligent in connection with the…

International

Israel adds missile interceptor to counter rocket fire,…

Israel rushed an eighth missile interceptor battery into service on Saturday to counter stronger-than-expected rocket fire from Gaza as the military pounded positions in the…

National

Tommy Ramone, last original member of punk pioneers…

Tommy Ramone, the drummer and last surviving original member of punk band the Ramones, whose aggressive and fast-driving songs spearheaded the punk-rock movement, has died…

Local

NYPD: Suspect fleeing traffic stop shot by cop…

The NYPD said an officer temporarily reassigned for the Summer All Out program shot a suspect who slammed into two NYPD cars and hit a cop in Brooklyn.

Music

Tommy Ramone, last original member of punk pioneers…

Tommy Ramone, the drummer and last surviving original member of punk band the Ramones, whose aggressive and fast-driving songs spearheaded the punk-rock movement, has died…

Gossip

PHOTOS: Topless Cara Delevingne advocates for 'Free the…

Supermodel Cara Delevingne is never one to shy away from the gaze of social media. Yesterday, she chose to advocate for the 'Free the Nipple' campaign via Instagram, where she…

Gossip

PHOTOS: Axelle Despiegelaere AKA "most beautiful" fan gets…

Axelle Despiegelaere, the "most beautiful" soccer supporter of this year's World Cup, was fired by L'Oreal for a hunting photo on her Facebook account.

Television

Final season of 'Glee' will be only 13…

The final season of "Glee" will officially be only 13 episodes, instead of the usual 22.

NBA

GIF: LeBron James returns to Cleveland so deal…

To anyone out there who is upset about his decision, this .GIF is for you. Enjoy.

World Cup

A game of two popes: Vatican plays down…

By Philip PullellaVATICAN CITY (Reuters) - With Argentina meeting Germany in the World Cup final, the Vatican on Friday brushed aside talk of soccer rivalry…

NFL

Which Jets player has the best odds at…

Metro New York asked Bovada.LV to rank the top three contenders for the NFL MVP on the Jets.

World Cup

Argentina prevails in penalties, advances to final

The drama never seems to subside as the World Cup finally has its final two.

Wellbeing

Fart gas might prevent cancer

You might not like the smell, but fart gas might help prevent cancer.

Tech

Mesh sheds light on top 10 dating deal…

What are New Yorkers' top 10 dating deal breakers? Find out here.

Wellbeing

This Week in Health: Sexual headaches can be…

Sexual headaches: an under-discussed health issue Location: U.S. Results: If getting frisky brings on a headache, you’re not alone. Headaches associated with sexual activity represent a…

Food

Head to FiDi for free Chia Pods from…

They may have been last summer's darlings, but chia seeds have definitely not gone out of style. A great source of omega-3 fatty acids, they…