Removal of Tobacco Licenses

Release

PHILADELPHIA–The Philadelphia Department of Public Health announced that 149 stores that have been selling tobacco products are not eligible to renew their tobacco sales permits in 2020, due to repeated violations of City regulations against selling tobacco products to minors. This number represents 6% of tobacco sales permits in Philadelphia. Many of the stores that are losing their permits are concentrated in poor, minority neighborhoods in North, West, and Southwest Philadelphia. (See attached map and table.)

https://www.phila.gov/2020-01-08-tobacco-sales-permits-denied-to-149-retailers-who-sold-to-minors/

Patch

“The number one killer in Philadelphia continues to be tobacco,” Health Commissioner Thomas Farley said. “Many people suffering from tobacco addiction got hooked when a store clerk flouted the law and sold a child a pack of cigarettes, cigarillos, or an e-cigarette. Stores that repeatedly sell tobacco products to kids are a clear danger to our neighborhoods. Today’s announcement shows that we’re taking this danger seriously and protecting Philadelphia’s kids.”

https://patch.com/pennsylvania/roxborough/s/gz1hz/philly-revokes-149-tobacco-sale-permits-selling-minors

By Max Bennett

Inquirer

“This is a sign that the city is serious about protecting our kids from these killer, addictive products,” Farley said. “Stores that have been selling cigarettes to children over the years are going to be discovered in the future, and they’re going to lose their tobacco sales privileges if they continue to do this.”

https://www.inquirer.com/health/cigarettes-vaping-cigars-teens-crack-down-violation-philadelphia-sales-20200108.html

By Rita Giordano

Philly Tribune

The health department randomly checks compliance with the regulations by sending teenagers into stores to attempt to buy tobacco products. Businesses sell minors tobacco products during these test visits 25% to 30% of the time, Farley said. A violation results in a city fine.

https://www.phillytrib.com/news/local_news/city-suspends-tobacco-sales-at-shops-for-selling-to-minors/article_404fc01e-3d84-5b93-a393-66253c7a4ee1.html

By Michael D’Onofrio

KYW1060

Health Commissioner Tom Farley said the stores were caught selling cigarettes to teenagers under 18 three or more times in the last two years, so their applications to continue selling cigarettes this year were denied.

Philadelphia has more tobacco outlets than other large cities — 2,600 still have permits. Farley said one of the goals of the new permits rules is to reduce the concentration “in low-income, minority neighborhoods.”

https://kywnewsradio.radio.com/articles/news/149-philly-stores-lose-permits-to-sell-cigarettes

By Pat Loeb

CBS3

“We hope that this action today will send a message to the other stores in the city that we’re serious. If they continue to sell to kids, they’re going to lose their tobacco sales privileges,” Philadelphia Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley said.

Farley says the city has taken action against 149 stores caught selling tobacco to kids three or more times in the past two years.

https://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/2020/01/08/philadelphia-health-officials-crack-down-on-businesses-illegally-selling-tobacco-products-to-kids/

By Stephanie Stahl

WHYY

By the time licenses were up for renewal in January 2019, four stores had reached the threshold. This year, 149 reached it.

To catch violators, the city sends young mystery shoppers to retailers to try to buy cigarettes. The city partners with the nonprofit Health Promotion Council to recruit and pay teen shoppers between 15 and 17, all of whom attempt to buy cigarettes. The teens are accompanied by adult chaperones.

https://whyy.org/articles/philly-health-department-busts-149-tobacco-retailers-for-selling-to-kids/

By Nina Feldman

Metro

Over 149 stores in Philly that have accrued repeated violations of city laws by selling tobacco products to minors have been forbidden from renewing their tobacco sales permits in 2020. This follows a crackdown on legislation launched in 2017 that if a store sold to minors three or more times within the past two years, they would not be able to renew their sales permits.

By Becca Glasser-Baker

6ABC

This is the first big action taken stemming from a 2017 law saying that any Philadelphia business selling tobacco to teens three or more times in two years would lose their license.

In 2019, four stores were cited. This time around? 149.

The health department says all stores were caught during compliance checks, where teens ask to buy tobacco.

https://6abc.com/health/149-philadelphia-tobacco-sellers-lose-permits-in-underage-crackdown/5827822/?fbclid=IwAR2Dc4RLk9gewOc3imnCa9C-u7W5sdB5rhGkRWd4OZpwD3quey2_DOeehN8

By Bob Brooks

The Philly Voice

In their statement, the city health officials also mentioned that many of the stores losing permits are concentrated in “poor, minority neighborhoods, in North, West, and Southwest Philadelphia,” and included the following map demonstrating where busts occurred.

https://www.phillyvoice.com/illegally-selling-tobacco-minors-philadelphia-health-department-busts-businesses/

By Allie Miller

Mayor Signs Tobacco Restrictions Bills

Release

PHILADELPHIA–Mayor Kenney, flanked by teenaged activists and members of City Council, signed two new laws and an Executive Order yesterday intended to help protect Philadelphia children from the dangers of addictive cigarillos and e-cigarettes. Following a three-month education period and a three-month warning period, flavored and high-nicotine e-cigarettes will only be allowed to be sold in adults-only stores. After a sixty-day education period, no candy or fruit flavored cigarillos will be allowed to be sold in Philadelphia. And beginning today, all City properties, including parks and recreation centers, are smoke- and vape-free.

https://www.phila.gov/2019-12-19-mayor-signs-laws-restricting-e-cigs-and-banning-flavored-cigarillos/

Patch

“I have been deeply troubled by the unfolding of the youth vaping epidemic and the widespread sale of fruit and candy flavored cigarillos,” Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley said. “These products threaten to undermine years of hard-fought progress to reduce adult and youth smoking. These laws are a necessary step in protecting our children.”

https://patch.com/pennsylvania/philadelphia/philly-restricts-e-cigarette-sales-bans-flavored-cigarillos

By Max Bennett

CBS3

Mayor Jim Kenney and other Philadelphia officials gathered at City Hall on Wednesday to sign a bill that will crack down on vaping. The new bill will restrict the sale of e-cigarettes in stores where children shop.

https://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/2019/12/18/mayor-jim-kenney-signs-two-bills-that-put-stricter-rules-on-vaping-products-in-philadelphia/

By Staff

Inquirer

The illnesses have primarily been among young adults who are otherwise healthy, drawing attention to the sharp rise in youth e-cigarette use.

“We are seeing an epidemic of youth vaping in the United States,” said Philadelphia Health Commissioner Thomas Farley.

https://www.inquirer.com/health/philadelphia-flavored-vape-ban-20191218.html

By Sarah Gantz

KYW 1060

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney Wednesday signed two bills designed to protect teenagers from the lure of nicotine, and a group of young people who lobbied for the measures was there to watch.

Health Commissioner Tom Farley invited students from the Advocacy Institute to get a ringside seat for the bill signing. After all, they’d worked on getting the measures passed in City Council.

https://kywnewsradio.radio.com/articles/news/new-bills-limit-flavored-cigarillos-e-cigarettes-sales

By Pat Loeb

Youth E-Cigarette Restriction Announcement

Release

 

WHYY

As dozens of vaping-related lung illnesses are being investigated across Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney and Health Commissioner Thomas Farley announced Wednesday that they will introduce legislation to ban flavored e-cigarettes and vape pods from stores that sell to minors.

https://whyy.org/articles/amid-hospitalizations-philadelphia-officials-propose-a-flavored-vape-ban-for-minors/

By Nina Feldman

Fox29

“No one knows what’s in these products,” Dr. Farley explained. “Even the FDA doesn’t know, because they haven’t required manufacturers to submit a list of ingredients.”

https://www.fox29.com/news/dont-vape-mayor-kenney-health-officials-propose-anti-vaping-legislation-to-protect-minors

By Staff

PhillyVoice

Under the proposed bill, sales of various product types would be limited to adult-only stores that require patrons to be at least 18 years old.

The products listed in the legislation include e-cigarettes with more than 20 mg/ml of nicotine salts, e-cigarettes with flavorings and e-liquids with more than 20 mg/ml of nicotine salts or flavorings sold separately.

https://www.phillyvoice.com/vaping-philadelphia-flavored-high-nicotine-sales-restrictions-legislation/

By Michael Tanenbaum

Philly Magazine

At a press conference on Wednesday, city health commissioner Tom Farley noted that 25 percent of high school seniors in Pennsylvania currently use e-cigarettes. (For comparison, less than five percent of the adult population currently vapes.) While the rate of teen vaping was previously declining in the state, the figure doubled from 2017 to 2019. “These teens are not smokers trying to quit,” Farley said, referencing the traditional argument made in favor of e-cigarettes. “These are kids getting addicted to an entirely new product.”

https://www.phillymag.com/news/2019/10/17/philadelphia-vape-laws/

By David Murrell

Metro

Under this new legislation, e-cigarettes and flavored e-cigarettes that contain higher levels of nicotine will only be sold in stores that service adults, not children or teens. Kenney said this is a crucial step to make since more and more kids are becoming addicted to e-cigarettes at a young age.

https://www.metro.us/news/local-news/philadelphia/mayor-kenney-proposed-new-e-cigarette-legislation

By Becca Glasser-Baker

CBS3

Philadelphia is joining the crackdown on e-cigarettes as vaping-related illnesses are on the rise across the United States. Mayor Jim Kenney and Health Commissioner Tom Farley announced new legislation proposing restricting the sale of flavored e-cigarettes to minors on Wednesday.

https://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/2019/10/16/mayor-jim-kenney-restricting-sale-e-cigarette-minors/

By Staff

Inquirer

But Farley noted that many children are going straight to e-cigarettes.

“More than 25% of 12th graders are now vaping,” said Farley. “These teens are not smokers. They’re getting addicted to an entirely new product. No one knows what’s going to happen to these children’s lungs if they use these products for years or decades. We don’t want any more young people clinging to life on a ventilator.”

https://www.inquirer.com/health/philly-restricting-vaping-sales-minors-ecigarette-20191016.html

By Bethany Ao

6ABC

Philadelphia Health Commissioner, Dr. Thomas Farley said, “It was done aware of the risks of preemption. But on the other hand, we feel we have to act. So if companies want to take us to court, take us to court. We believe this is the right thing to do to protect our children.”

https://6abc.com/politics/mayor-kenney-announces-crafting-of-new-bill-to-stop-kids-from-vaping/5624201/

By Bob Brooks

KYW

E-cigarettes typically contain 59 milligrams of nicotine per millimeter of liquid. Stores owners that want to allow teens and children inside would have to limit e-cigarette sales to products with no more than 20 milligrams per millimeter–and no added flavoring.

https://kywnewsradio.radio.com/articles/news/philly-officials-introduce-bill-attempt-limit-e-cigs

By Pat Loeb

NBC10

Philadelphia Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley also announced that “Behind the Haze,” a social media campaign spreading awareness on the dangers of vaping, is set to launch next week.

“It shows teens that e-cigarettes contain chemicals that are either of unknown risk or that are in fact known as carcinogens, meaning they can cause cancer,” Dr. Farley said.

https://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/local/Philadelphia-Mayor-Jim-Kenney-Propose-Plan-Restrict-Vaping-Sales-563217401.html

By Rudy Chinchilla and David Chang

Philly Tribune

E-cigarette manufacturers are not required to submit a list of ingredients to the federal regulators, said Philadelphia Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley said in a written statement.

https://www.phillytrib.com/news/local_news/city-council-kenney-aim-to-ban-sale-of-flavored-vaping/article_a8ff964f-7e56-5e48-b70f-19ba856d585d.html

By Michael D’Onofrio

Synar Report Publication

Release

PHILADELPHIA–According to the recently released 2018 Synar report, sales of tobacco to youth in Philadelphia more than doubled in 2018, compared to 2017. Driven by illegal sales by tobacco retailers throughout the city, the overall rate of youth tobacco sales in Philadelphia in 2018 was more than twice the state rate. Violations, meaning illegal sales of tobacco to underage buyers, occurred across retailer types, consistent with data from what the Health Department finds during their own compliance check program. The state’s Synar report is developed using the results of a survey during which trained, supervised teens aged 15-17 attempt to buy tobacco at a sample of retail stores across the state.

https://www.phila.gov/2019-09-11-sales-of-tobacco-to-youth-in-philadelphia-skyrocketed-in-2018/

Inquirer

Illegal sales of cigarettes to young people in Philadelphia have more than doubled in the last year, reversing a two-year decline in the practice, the Philadelphia Public Health Department announced Tuesday.

https://www.inquirer.com/news/cigarettes-illegal-sales-youth-teens-philadelphia-pennsylvania-increase-20190910.html

By Mari Schaefer

Philly Voice

“These 2018 figures are unacceptable. After years of improvement, we were gratified to be making headway against illegal sales of tobacco to our city’s youth,” said Dr. Cheryl Bettigole, Philadelphia’s director of chronic disease and injury prevention.

https://www.phillyvoice.com/cigarettes-philadelphia-youth-sales-survey-retailers-teen-smoking-vaping/

By Michael Tanenbaum

KYW

Dr. Cheryl Bettigole, director of chronic disease and injury prevention at the Philadelphia Department of Public Health says the city is taking action.

“We are doing education with retailers in multiple languages in multiple formats, some of it’s face-to-face, some of it is email fliers that are designed and stress that this is against the law,” she said. “We’ve also increased the number of compliance checks that we do so people who are selling to youth are getting ticketed more often and each ticket is $250, so those are real penalties.”

https://kywnewsradio.radio.com/articles/news/concern-grows-more-philly-teens-are-buying-tobacco

By Lynne Adkins

Increase in Teen Vaping

“While we haven’t seen the report yet, we are extremely concerned about the recent increase in teen use of electronic cigarettes,” said Cheryl Bettigole, director of chronic disease prevention for the Philadelphia Department of Public Health. “It has become increasingly clear in recent years that e-cigarettes are dangerous to teens, and that e-cig use appears to make it more likely that a teen will go on to smoke combustible cigarettes.”

http://www.philly.com/health/juul-vaping-teen-increase-20181217.html

By Mari Schaefer

Racial Differences Dictate Tobacco Problems

“The fact that kids aren’t smoking cigarettes is deceptive,” said Cheryl Bettigole, director of chronic disease prevention for the Philadelphia Department of Public Health. “Total tobacco use is up.”
City data shows youth cigar use (including cigarillos) 
doubled from 2011 to 2015.

Among black teens specifically, it nearly tripled. On the other hand, white teens were nearly twice as likely to have used a vaping product.

http://www.philly.com/health/tobacco-smoking-cigarettes-cigar-ecigarettes-20181217.html

By Aneri Pattani

Council Hearings on Tobacco Retailer Regulations

Health Commissioner Tom Farley will oppose the bill. He doesn’t buy the rationale.
“There was a Wawa that opened up that was above the cap, and so they didn’t get a permit. And I went and visited it and the store was absolutely thriving,” he said. “It was packed with customers and (had) a long line at the cash registers, so these stores can do quite well without selling the No. 1 cause of death in Philadelphia.”
Farley noted that cigarette sales total only a fraction of the business of stores with permits, and the bill would have a hugely negative health impact, especially in low-income neighborhoods where the density of cigarette sales is highest.

https://kywnewsradio.radio.com/articles/news/city-council-hearing-attempts-roll-back-anti-smoking-regulations

By Pat Loeb

On Wednesday, Council voted against a bill that aimed to reverse some of those regulations. The measure would have allowed a tobacco retail permit to be transferred to a new owner even if a store was near a school or exceeded the cap on the number of retailers in the area.

“We’re grateful that the City Council supported the Board of Health’s action to protect Philadelphia’s children from the marketing of the nation’s biggest killer, tobacco,” said Health Commissioner Thomas Farley.


The goal of the original regulations was to curb youth smoking, a particularly big problem for Philadelphia, where more than a quarter of youths use tobacco. Although rates of cigarette smoking have dropped here as in much of the country, rates of cigar and e-cigarette use are climbing.

http://www2.philly.com/health/tobacco-smoking-cigarette-retail-philadelphia-city-council-20181205.html

By Aneri Pattani

On the other side were numerous health organizations, parents and Health Commissioner Tom Farley, who said the rule is already working to reduce the number of cigarette retailers in low-income neighborhoods, where there are three times as many tobacco sellers as in other neighborhoods.
“Researchers have shown that children living in neighborhoods with more tobacco sellers are significantly more likely to start smoking, and adult smokers in those neighborhoods are less likely to quit,” Farley said. 

https://kywnewsradio.radio.com/articles/news/effort-gut-anti-smoking-regulations-rejected-philadelphia-city-council-committee

By Pat Loeb