Philadelphia City Council has passed a bill increasing fines for selling cigarettes to minors. There is hope the law will be a deterrent.
Councilwoman Marian Tasco said Thursday the aim of the fine increase from $100 to $250 is to make merchants think twice about selling cigarettes to those who are under 18.
“We’re trying to accomplish healthy lifestyles and we don’t want young people starting to smoke at an early age, 13 or 14,” said Tasco. “Some of the merchants just want to sell to whoever comes into the store and disregard the laws on the books.”
Councilwoman Tasco said once the bill is approved by Mayor Nutter, there will be a need for increased enforcement to give it teeth.
“And if L and I enforces it as it should be enforced, it should have some impact,” Tasco said, adding that the problem is the city’s department of licensing and inspection is busy enforcing other city regulations.