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Philadelphia’s push to curtail smoking appears to be working

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 (Emma Lee/WHYY)

(Emma Lee/WHYY)

The city of Philadelphia is praising stores that have quit selling tobacco products.

More than a half-dozen retailers … from a bar to a gas station to pharmacies …. are being recognized for ending sales of cigarettes and other tobacco products.

Donna Horger of Brooks Pharmacy decided to stop selling smokes because of interactions with customers.

“In many cases they would come in on their oxygen and ask for a pack of cigarettes,” she said. “I would try to talk them out of it, and it just didn’t work.”

The city is also imposing a surcharge when some of its employees fill prescriptions at pharmacies that still sell cigarettes.

In 2010, Philadelphia had the highest percentage of smokers among the 10 largest cities in the country. In the last few years however, smoking has decreased by 15 percent decrease among adults and 30 percent drop among young people.

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