North Philly Shop Owner Helping Customers Make Healthy Choices

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — One store owner trashed all the tobacco products on her shelves Friday morning in an effort to promote healthier choices for her customers.

Smoothies are replacing smokes at Medina Mini Mart.

“A lot of our clients do want more fresh produce, fresh items. The smoothies is a start,” said Dee Medina, owner of the corner store near 8th and Susquehanna.

She says tobacco is a good chunk of her business.

“It’s a headache that I’m willing to give up, but it is going to be costly and hurt in the beginning,” Medina said.

But she’s not going it alone. There is support from community groups and the health department.

“We’ve been able to hook her up with some resources to make this easier,” said Dr. Cheryl Bettigole.

Bettigole says Philadelphians smoke at a higher rate than the national average.

“And what that means for families in Philadelphia is it’s driving our poverty rate,” she said.

She hopes more merchants follow Medina’s lead and trash the tobacco.

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