Philadelphia proposes mandating antismoking ads at retail counters where tobacco is sold

September 14, 2011
by Don Sapatkin
Philadelphia Inquirer

One might think that smoking bans in city parks and that graphic cigarette-pack labels coming from Washington represent the extreme of government meddling.

But with statistics showing that smoking remains the No. 1 cause of preventable deaths, the Philadelphia Board of Health is considering a proposal that pushes the envelope on tobacco control: mandatory, illustrated signs on the health effects of smoking placed on the counters of every tobacco retailer in the city.

It's not at all clear that the idea, still in draft form, would pass legal muster. A similar law enacted two years ago in New York City was struck down by a federal judge; the decision is being appealed.


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