Oppose Bill No. 180522; no more tobacco retailers in Philadelphia!
Dear [Decision Maker],
As your constituent, I am writing to ask you to oppose Bill No. 180522, legislation that would roll back existing regulations and allow new retailers to obtain tobacco sales permits in Philadelphia. According to the City Department of Public Health, Philadelphia has more than twice as many tobacco retailers per capita as other major US cities. As of June 2016, Philadelphia had 2.21 tobacco retailers per 1000 residents compared to an estimated 1.20 in Washington, DC, 1.15 1.27 in Los Angeles, 1.15 in New York City, 1.05 in San Francisco, and 0.92 in Chicago.
The Department also notes that tobacco retailers are heavily concentrated in low-income neighborhoods. Philadelphia's low-income neighborhoods have 69% more tobacco retailers overall, and 63% more tobacco retailers within 500 feet of schools, than high-income neighborhoods. Some low-income neighborhoods have three times as many tobacco retailers per capita as some high-income neighborhoods. Over 3,500 Philadelphians are killed each year by tobacco products, making tobacco the top cause of preventable death in our city. Smoking rates in Philadelphia are the highest among the ten largest U.S. cities, and are even higher in low-income neighborhoods.
To promote public health in our communities and to safeguard the youth in our city, I ask you to support the existing regulations for tobacco retailers and to oppose Bill No. 180522.
Sincerely,[Your Name] [Your Address] [City, State ZIP][Your Email]