Philly City Council announces bill in attempt to limit e-cigarette sales to minors

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Philadelphia leaders introduced a bill on Thursday that could restrict minors' access to e-cigarette products.

The lengthy bill prohibits stores that sell high-nicotine or flavored e-cigarettes from allowing anyone inside under age 18. The proposal originated with Mayor Jim Kenney's administration and was introduced by council member Bill Greenlee.

"Some of these e-cigs have incredibly high nicotine levels, above a lot of regular cigarettes, and obviously nicotine is addictive," said Greenlee. 

E-cigarettes typically contain 59 milligrams of nicotine per millimeter of liquid. Stores owners that want to allow teens and children inside would have to limit e-cigarette sales to products with no more than 20 milligrams per millimeter--and no added flavoring.

City council tried to ban sales of flavored tobacco products, last year, but was preempted by the state from doing so. Greenlee hopes that in light of the deaths and illnesses associated with e-cigarettes, the state will not interfere this time.

"It's clear that there's a problem and when there's a problem, government needs to stand up, I think, and we hope the state will respect that and we'll see what happens."

Councilman Al Taubenberger later introduced four bills that would give real estate and wage tax credits to residents raising their grandchildren or working parents with children in day care. He says the bills are intended to help families, whose income is fixed, or has not kept up with inflation.

"These four ordinances address financial inequalities that adversely impact our seniors and working families. I respectfully request the support of my colleagues on these important issues."

The credits would be limited to $3,800 dollars per family. Taubenberger did not offer an estimate of  how much the bill would cost.