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.
“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.”
By Max Bennett
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.
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.
By Sarah Gantz
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.
By Pat Loeb
Despite these national efforts, Bettigole said, the local restrictions for minors are still important because EVALI is just a symptom of a broader problem: teenage nicotine addiction.
“Fortunately, it looks like the CDC has identified the specific culprit in this outbreak,” she said. “But we have to recognize that as long as we have millions of our teens continuing to breathe in unknown substances, there will be another outbreak, and that’s what we’re trying to prevent here in Philadelphia.”
By Nina Feldman
The bill bans sales of flavored and high-nicotine e-cigarettes at stores that teens and children are allowed to enter. Kenney, who introduced the measure with Philadelphia Health Commissioner Thomas Farley, is expected to sign the legislation by the end of the year.
“Philadelphia is taking the lead in protecting teens from dangerous and unregulated vaping products,” Farley said in a statement.
By Sarah Gantz
Any store that decides it wants to sell flavored e-cigarette products will have to get an “Adults-Only Establishment” license from the Department of Public Health. The department says it will issue these yearlong permits on an annual basis. A spokesperson for Mayor Kenney says he plans to sign the bill by the end of the year. There will be a three-month education period for businesses, followed by three months of warnings. Fines for non-compliance kick in starting in July.
By David Murrell