Philly cracks down on youth smoking

PHILADELPHIA - December 2, 2010

City council voted unanimously Thursday to more than double the fine on retailers who sell tobacco to minors. The legislation also makes it easier for the city to shut down offending stores.

Store owners who sell to minors will now be fined $250, up from $100.

Councilwoman Marian Tasco is the bill's sponsor. She says some city merchants will sell to anybody who comes through the door.

Tasco says she wants to keep cigarettes out of the hands of young people and promote healthier lifestyles.

Last year, a federal study found Philadelphia has a higher rate of youth smoking than cities including Boston, Chicago and New York, although it falls below the national average.

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