Buying Smokes In A Drug Store Would Be Banned Under Bill Introduced In Phila. City Council

By Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A bill introduced into Philadelphia City Council would ban cigarette sales at all the drug stores in the city. It’s part of the Nutter administration’s continuing effort to reduce smoking.

The bill would prohibit the sale of any tobacco product or e-cigarette at any place that also provides health services, including the sale of prescription drugs.

Administration spokesman Mark McDonald says that would include drug stores, hospital gift shops, even grocery stores with pharmacies.

“The goal here is to ultimately reduce cigarette use in the city. According to the health department, Philadelphia has among the highest number of tobacco retailers per capita and we hope a law like this would reduce the number of outlets by roughly six percent.”

McDonald says that was the result when similar laws were enacted in Boston and San Francisco.

He concedes it could mean a drop in school district revenue from the cigarette tax, but says that tax is a stop gap funding measure anyway.

Retailers were just learning about the bill and did not have an immediate response.

Council, today, also approved a bill mandating that single occupancy restrooms in public places be gender neutral.

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