Philadelphia, April 9, 2014– Mayor Michael A. Nutter, joined by Councilman William Greenlee and Deputy Mayor for Health and Opportunity Dr. Donald Schwarz, signed into law legislation that prohibits the sale of e-cigarettes to minors and the use of e-cigarettes in workplaces, bars and restaurants. The laws apply to e-cigarettes and all other electronic smoking devices, such as vape pens, e-hookahs and e-cigars.
“This legislation is an extension of the Clean Indoor Air Act. These sensible regulations will protect the health and wellness of ever Philadelphia citizen, especially our young people, by limiting the sale of and exposure to e-cigarette products,” said Mayor Nutter. “I want to thank Dr. Schwarz for his advocacy and Councilman Greenlee for his leadership on this timely and important issue.”
Councilman Greenlee, who introduced both bills, added, “I greatly appreciate the unanimous support of my colleagues in City Council and Mayor Nutter’s Administration in enacting this legislation to protect the health of all the citizens in Philadelphia.”
Bill No. 140096, which will prohibit the sale of e-cigarette products to minors, will immediately take effect. Businesses found to sell e-cigarettes or refill cartridges to minors will be ticketed $250 per violation. Out-of-package sales, not checking ID for sales and not displaying appropriate signage may result in additional penalties.
Bill No. 140095, which prohibits the use of e-cigarette products in public spaces, will take effect on July 1, 2014. It will apply to all public spaces outlined in the Clean Indoor Air Worker Protection Law pertaining to conventional cigarettes, including: workplaces, restaurants (including outdoor seating areas), bars, and clubs; retail/wholesale stores; movie theaters, museums, and performance spaces; childcare and daycare centers; schools; hospitals; and common areas of apartment buildings and hotels. Philadelphia joins Chicago, New York City and Los Angeles in prohibiting e-cigarette use indoors.
“E-cigarettes are not the equivalent of conventional cigarettes, but they still should be sensibly regulated,” Dr. Donald Schwarz said. “Along with our local actions, the FDA should ensure these products are manufactured, packaged, and labeled accurately and safely.”
For more information about e-cigarettes or quitting smoking, visit www.smokefreephilly.org. Philadelphians can also receive free counseling and up to 8 weeks of nicotine patches, gum, or lozenges by calling 1-800-QUIT NOW.