149 stores lose tobacco permits for selling to minors

(Photo by Kruscha via Pixabay)
person smoking
Photo by Kruscha via Pixabay

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.

The newly released figures are based on the past two years of compliance checks.

Overall, this number represents 6 percent of total tobacco sales permits in Philly, according to a press release issued by the Department of Public Health for The City of Philadelphia.

The press release states that a majority of the stores that are losing their permits are located in poorer and minority neighborhoods located in North, West and Southwest Philadelphia. 

“The number one killer in Philadelphia continues to be tobacco. 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.” Health Commissioner Thomas Farley said in a press release.

To check on stores, the Department of Health will conduct random compliance checks, by sending teens into shops to purchase tobacco products. If a teen makes a successful purchase, the health department will give the businesses a ticket.

The tobacco retailers were made aware of new regulations, compliance checks, the rules and the risk of losing tobacco sale privileges, via a mailing distributed in five languages. There was also a reminder email sent during Spring 2019.

They will also educate the establishment’s owner on the city’s tobacco youth sale laws and the specific consequences of a violation, such as the loss of a store’s tobacco sales privilege and more.

The 149 stores that were caught selling to teens in the two years monitored did so somewhere between three to seven times.

All Philly residents are encouraged to report any illegal sales to 1-888-99-SMOKE or text “Smoke” to 474747.

Below is a map shared in a press release from the Department of Public Health for The City of Philadelphia outlining the locations and number of violations:

Top 10 worst tobacco law violators by name, address, and violation count:

Sunrise Deli

2708 W Allegheny Ave Philadelphia PA 19132 (7)

Khi Hung Chinese Restaurant

5401 Willows Ave Philadelphia PA 19143 (6)

Lucky Restaurant

3940 Lancaster Ave Philadelphia PA 19104 (6)

Delancey Food Market

6061 Delancey St Philadelphia PA 19143 (6)

Bacalao Food Market

4287-4289 Frankford Ave Philadelphia PA 19124 (6)

Cesario Super Market Inc

5642 W Girard Ave Philadelphia PA 19131 (6)

Train Station Food Inc

5570 Market St Philadelphia PA 19139 (6)

Three J Food Market

2659 S 66th St Philadelphia PA 19142 (5)

Mendoza Deli Inc

322 W Ruscomb St Philadelphia PA 19120 (5)

Maria Mini Mart

3154 N Broad St Philadelphia PA 19132 (5)


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