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Tobacco Retailer Permits

The Philadelphia Code requires retailers to obtain permits for the sale of any type of tobacco product. This includes cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco, hookah tobacco, snuff, snus, chewing tobacco, dipping tobacco, bidis, electronic cigarettes, Juuls, and other electronic smoking devices. This permit allows us to monitor tobacco retailers and ensure they comply with applicable laws.


Permit applications are only accepted online.
  • The fee is $300 for new and renewal applications.
  • Renewal applications are due November 1.
  • Late renewal applications are subject to a $50 late fee and will not be accepted after December 31.

To apply for a new permit or renew a current permit, click on the button below. 


Application Instructions


If you have a question about the online application, please e-mail Health.PTRD@phila.gov.

For more information on tobacco retail permits and tobacco retailers in Philadelphia, please see below.

Permit Requirements

  • Retailers that sell cigarettes and/or little cigars, pipe tobacco, chewing tobacco, snuff and other tobacco products for chewing, ingesting or smoking are required to have both the Philadelphia Tobacco Retailer Permit and the Cigarette Dealer License/Tobacco Products License from the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue. This includes hookah, electronic cigarettes, liquid products and the delivery devices. Retailers that sell cigars only need the Philadelphia Tobacco Retailer Permit.
  • Owners of establishments with cigarette vending machines are also required to obtain a permit.
  • The permit is valid for one calendar year, effective January 1. The permit will expire on December 31 of the same year.
  • The permit application fee is $300. The annual renewal fee is $300.
  • Retailers must prominently display the permit at each location where they sell tobacco products.
  • The permit is not transferable. A new permit is required for each change of ownership or location.

In December 2016, the Board of Health approved an additional regulation concerning tobacco retailing in Philadelphia.

To review the regulation, click here.

To review the Board of Health’s report on the October 2016 public hearing on the regulation, click here.

Penalties

Any retailer selling tobacco without a valid Tobacco Retailer Permit will be fined $75 per day. After a third youth sales violation in two years, tobacco sales will be suspended for a year.

Resources for Tobacco Retailers

Applications and Forms

Transitioning Away From Tobacco

The retail environment has a big impact on the health of your community. By transitioning away from tobacco, you can help your customers have healthy lives without influence from tobacco companies.

Learn how selling other items instead of tobacco can expand your customer base, improve your store's image, and increase your profits:

Preventing Tobacco and E-Cigarette Sales to Minors

To prevent nicotine addiction and protect our youth and young adults from serious health harms, the sale of tobacco products and e-cigarettes to anyone under 18 years of age is against the law.

No Smoking or Use of E-Cigarettes Indoors

Philadelphia’s Clean Indoor Air Worker Protection Law provides all Philadelphians with clean, fresh air to breathe in the indoor and outdoor spaces in which they work, study, dine, relax, and recreate.

E-Cigarettes
Sign Control Law

The Philadelphia Code limits the amount of window or transparent door space that can be covered with signs in retail settings. These regulations help to beautify neighborhoods by removing excessive signage and enhance safety by improving sightlines in and out of stores.

Tobacco Retailer Density by Planning District

Current Density Caps as of 5/22/2018

Use this map to look up your planning district.


Planning District

Total Retailers

2015 Daytime Population

Retailers per 1,000 Daytime Population

Central

287

324,982

0.88

Central Northeast

58

71,073

0.82

Lower Far Northeast

47

68,067

0.69

Lower North

262

88,922

2.95

Lower Northeast

181

84,911

2.13

Lower Northwest

42

42,009

1.00

Lower South

7

35,094

0.20

Lower Southwest

79

32,411

2.44

North

418

140,003

2.99

North Delaware

101

72,428

1.39

River Wards

157

60,318

2.60

South

290

113,388

2.56

University Southwest

140

124,865

1.12

Upper Far Northeast

39

59,903

0.65

Upper North

242

124,060

1.95

Upper Northwest

109

68,366

1.59

West

269

86,032

3.13

West Park

48

41,104

1.17



Tobacco-Free School Zones

Each Philadelphia planning district has a population-based limit on the number of available tobacco retailer permits. Tobacco-free school zones also prohibit new tobacco retailer permits within 500 feet (approximately 2 blocks) of any K-12 school. Properly issued permits will be grandfathered.

Use this map to locate tobacco-free school zones in Philadelphia.