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Erie County ban on pharmacy cigarette sales signed into law

Buying cigarettes at local pharmacies, lighting up at public bus stops, or smoking in a car with children present are no longer allowed in Erie County.

Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz signed the Public Health Protection Act of 2018 into law Friday, imposing fines of $50 or more for each offense.

The measure, which unanimously passed the Erie County Legislature in early December, has been championed by public health advocates and lawmakers as a means of limiting tobacco use in public areas. It applies to any tobacco or nicotine-containing product, including e-cigarettes.

Pharmacies and health care institutions that sell the banned products also face fines of up to $2,000 for repeat offenses.

“As elected officials we are charged with protecting the health and safety of the public we serve, and the Public Health Protection Act is evidence of the seriousness with which we accept that responsibility," Poloncarz said in a statement.

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