Stores caught selling cigarettes to minors will now face heftier fines in Philadelphia. The legislation signed Thursday is designed to cut the city’s high teen smoking rate.
The bill raises the fine from $100 to $250 and if a merchant defaults on the fine it can be increased to as much as $2,000. Mayor Michael Nutter says it’s designed to help keep young people from taking up what could be a deadly habit.
“We cannot allow our children to be the next generation of addicts facing a very certain future of illness and death. Smoking is not cool at all,” said Nutter.
Councilwoman Marian Tasco introduced the bill, and she says it was to help prevent what happened in her life.
“I know the ill effects of smoking, I know what it can do to you,” said Tasco. “I am a widow because my husband smoked.”
The city is also running an ad campaign telling about the dangers of smoking and offering help for those who want to quit.