This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.
The $2-per-pack cigarette tax in Philadelphia has been in effect for more than a month, and some people are hitting the road to avoid paying the additional cost.
If you pull into the Wawa parking lot in Trevose on Route 1 just over the city line, it’s hard to find a parking space because the store is selling cigarettes at the state minimum, without the $2 tax that must be collected just down the road.
Smoker Joe Callahan says he stocks up here instead of buying in the city.
"I don’t live around here; when I come out this way, I pick up a couple packs," he said.
One after another people coming out of the convenience store are holding four, five packs or even a carton.