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Tobacco Retailer Permits
Click Here to Submit your Philadelphia Tobacco Permit Online

NOTICE: If you are looking for information on the Board of Health’s Regulation Relating to Tobacco Retailing, click here. For information about Special Designations, click here.

Philadelphia City Council passed an ordinance on June 9, 2011 that requires all retailers that sell any type of tobacco product (cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco, hookah tobacco, snuff, snus, chewing tobacco, dipping tobacco, bidis, and electronic cigarettes) to obtain a tobacco permit.

This ordinance became effective January 1, 2012, under Amended Chapter 9-600 of the Philadelphia Code, entitled “Service and Other Businesses.”

This permit enables us to monitor tobacco retailers and ensure that they are complying with the applicable laws.

Retailers that sell cigarettes and/or little cigars are required to have both the Philadelphia Tobacco Retailer Permit and a Cigarette Dealer License from the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue.

Retailers that sell any other type of tobacco products are only required to have the Philadelphia Tobacco Retailer Permit. Owners of establishments in which cigarette vending machines are located are also responsible for obtaining a permit.

  • The Tobacco Retailer Permit is valid for one calendar year effective January 1st and will expire on December 31st of the same year.
  • The permit fee is $300. The annual renewal fee is $300.
  • Retailers must prominently display the Philadelphia Tobacco Retailer Permit at each location where they engage in tobacco sales.
  • The permit is not transferable, so that if there is a change of ownership or location, a new permit is required.

Any retailer that is selling tobacco without a valid Tobacco Retailer Permit will be fined $75 per day.

If you have any questions, please contact Jody Wilkins at 215-685-7340.

Tobacco Retailers by Planning District

Use this map to look up your planning district.

Tobacco Retailer Density

Tobacco retailer density as of September 22, 2016
Planning District Total Retailers 2014 Daytime Population Retailers per 1,000 Daytime Population
Central 334 319,572 1.05
Central Northeast 64 71,633 0.89
Lower Far Northeast 51 68,426 0.75
Lower North 316 90,808 3.48
Lower Northeast 214 85,406 2.51
Lower Northwest 44 41,943 1.05
Lower South 10 26,049 0.38
Lower Southwest 95 33,351 2.85
North 533 142,081 3.75
North Delaware 124 74,378 1.67
River Wards 187 61,217 3.05
South 376 112,920 3.33
University/Southwest 160 127,378 1.26
Upper Far Northeast 44 59,984 0.73
Upper North 274 124,344 2.20
Upper Northwest 127 69,846 1.82
West 313 85,426 3.66
West Park 56 43,341 1.29

Tobacco-Free School Zones

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

  • Tobacco Retailer Permit Application (Paper applications are only accepted for retailers seeking exceptions.   All other new tobacco retailer permit applications should be submitted online using the link at the top of the page.)
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Specialty Tobacco Establishment Exception Form
  • Tobacco Products Distribution Business Exception
  • Fact Sheet about Electronic Cigarettes
  • Information for Merchants about Electronic Cigarettes