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October 09, 2015

Mayor Nutter backs bill to ban cigarette sales in drug stores

Bill to move to state Senate, where it is widely expected to gain passage

A new bill introduced by Philadelphia Councilwoman Marian Tasco and backed by Mayor Michael Nutter would ban the sale of tobacco products in any establishments offering "health services," a move the Nutter administration says would cut tobacco sales by 6 percent in the city.

The bill is part of Mayor Nutter's continuing effort to reduce the number of smokers in Philadelphia, which has dropped from 27.3 percent of adults to 22.4 percent between 2008-2014, according to PhillyMag.

If passed, the bill would include any establishment that sells pharmaceutical drugs.

City Council President Darrell Clarke said it's questionable whether the city can legally prohibit cigarette sales, the Philadelphia Daily News reports.

Last year, Nutter led the push for a cigarette tax to discourage smoking and help address the school budget crisis. As a member of City Council, he helped secure the smoking ban in Philadelphia's restaurants and bars and later enacted a smoking ban in city parks.

Over the summer, the Philadelphia Housing Authority instituted a ban on smoking in public housing, another sign of the city's increasing efforts to encourage smokers to quit the habit.