Philadelphia pushing to license tobacco sellers

Philadelphia City Council has passed a bill mandating a license to sell tobacco products in the city.

The bill mandating a license for every outlet selling cigarettes or other tobacco products is designed to cut down on underage smoking. Councilwoman Marian Tasco sponsored the bill.

“It’s about fines for those businesses who sell tobacco to young people,” said Tasco. “Because we’ve had problems with neighborhood stores who sell loose cigarettes and tobacco to young people people that do sell the tobacco you have a license to do that then we can check on them and see that they are following the law.”

Tasco said the bill is part on an agenda to keep young people from starting to smoke. Undercover teens will be used to test retailers.

“Once they identify the owners certainly there will be a plan and the health department will have the workers from the health department work for them and to go out and do the checks,” she said.

How soon the bill takes effect will depend on when the mayor signs it.

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