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    Wawa Uses Clout to Change Philadelphia's Tobacco Regs

    Licenses to be issued based on area daytime population.

    PHILADELPHIA — Wawa Inc. prompted the city of Philadelphia to change its stance on tobacco sales limits after threatening to stop opening new convenience stores within city limits due to the regulations.

    The Philadelphia Board of Health approved a new plan that was adjusted in response to Wawa and other businesses lobbying against the original proposal, reported PhillyMag.

    The original plan called for the number of retail outlets allowed to sell cigarettes in an area to be determined by residential population. The new approved plan will base limits on "commuter-adjusted daytime population."

    This will result in more licenses available downtown for Wawa, which plans to open at least two more locations in Center City, according to the news outlet. 

    Also included in the Board of Health's final approved plan is a prohibition against retail locations opening within 500 feet of a school if they sell tobacco. Current retailers will be grandfathered in, but will not be allowed to sell their tobacco licenses in the future. Additionally, the board raised the price of a tobacco license from $50 to $300, and retailers that are caught selling cigarettes to underage customers three times in two years will have their licenses suspended for one year.

    These new regulations will go into effect Feb. 15, 2017. 

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