August 7, 2015 |
Smoking is now officially prohibited at Courtyard Apartments at Riverview, a public housing complex on South Fourth Street in Queen Village. Or that's the rule on paper. A ban on smoking on Philadelphia Housing Authority property went into effect Wednesday, but for at least two housing complexes, it was off to a slow start. At Courtyard, property managers were still discussing how the prohibition against smoking would work. They have notified residents about the change, but they have not yet set up a designated zone for smoking outside, as required under the policy.
July 30, 2015 |
In a week, more than 36,000 Philadelphia public housing residents will be asked to take their cigarettes outside, an unprecedented bid to try to improve the health of some of the city's neediest tenants. Officials wondering about the new smoking ban's potential for success can look to the west. Two years ago, Chester County's housing authority started a strict policy to curb smoking among tenants: No tobacco use anywhere on its properties. It was the first housing agency in Southeastern Pennsylvania to go smoke-free.
July 19, 2015 |
Fred "Bubble" Carter lit a cigarette in his left hand Friday afternoon as he stood on the grounds of the Spring Garden Apartments and savored something that early next month will be against the rules. Carter is a regular smoker, but he recognizes the habit's health risks, so he understands the impetus behind the Philadelphia Housing Authority's ban on smoking in its properties. "I'm not going to say it ain't going to work, but you can't just go into somebody's house and tell them not to smoke," he said.
February 22, 2015 |
Where there's smoke, there's ire. High-rise condo buildings such as the Dorchester and Society Hill Towers and luxury buildings such as the St. James are starting to ban resident smoking - even in residents' own units. "There is now a growing trend in condominiums nationwide, and especially in urban high-rises, to impose a total ban on smoking anywhere on the property - common areas, indoor and out, and even in the individual residences and on their balconies and patios," said Gary Krimstock, a lawyer specializing in condo-association law with Fineman Krekstein and Harris in Center City.
October 20, 2014 |
The signs went up a bit over a week ago on the little stretch that is the Monmouth Street Business District in proudly blue-collar Gloucester City. They took most folks by surprise: The no-smoking symbol and the "100% Smoke Free Public Property" sign. By late last week, the police had yet to issue a ticket, but on sidewalks known for a fair yield of butts, the stubs were few and far between. But if the smokes have been extinguished at least on those few blocks, the furor smolders on. Mayor William James says the ban is part of an effort to clean up and revitalize the three-block commercial strip - an endeavor that has included acquiring three properties with about $540,000 in state and federal funds.
April 11, 2014 |
As Mayor Nutter took out his pen Wednesday to sign two bills that crack down on "vaping," or puffing on electronic cigarettes, Gregory Conley broke the silence in the Mayor's Reception Room at City Hall. "Congratulations on hurting public health and deceiving smokers into believing that e-cigarettes are harmful," Conley shouted at the mayor while holding an e-cigarette. As a member of Nutter's security team stood in front of Conley, an e-cigarette lobbyist, the mayor fired back: "That device might be harmful, but he's harmless.
February 14, 2014
In a city that has had trouble kicking the smoking habit, any step that promises to tamp down easy access to cigarettes - including a major pharmacy chain's recent decision to give up tobacco products - is a step in the right direction. Unfortunately, Mayor Nutter's proposal to raise a $2-a-pack cigarette tax, which was approved by City Council last year, remains stalled in Harrisburg. Besides the estimated $45 million a year it would pump into the treasury for city schools, the tax would be worth far more from a public-health perspective.
October 5, 2013
The owners of Pennsylvania and Atlantic City casinos granted ill-advised exemptions from indoor smoking bans contend that they must look to smokers for a sizable share of the pot - and, thus, the state tax revenues generated by gambling. But what if smoke-filled casinos are triggering a haul of a different kind - of patrons sickened and, in extreme cases, having to be carted off to a hospital? Troubling recent findings from a study of the impact of secondhand smoke in casinos drive home the commonsense notion that smoke-free gambling would be healthier for patrons and employees alike.
September 16, 2013 |
A half-century after a U.S. Surgeon General's report raised the alarm on tobacco, most Americans know that smoking may eventually cause lung cancer. Far less appreciated is what can happen just minutes - 60 seconds, according to some research - after taking in a breath of smoke, even secondhand. In the bloodstream, platelets are activated and become sticky. They clump together to form clots that can cause a heart attack or stroke. They stick to artery walls, ripping the lining when blood flow increases and interfering with the vessels' ability to expand and contract as needed.
March 26, 2013
DID YOU hear the footsteps last week? Are they coming for you next? The gargantuan CVS drugstore chain has ordered its nearly 200,000 employees to disclose personal health information - weight, height, body fat, blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar - or they will have a $600 penalty added to their annual health-insurance bill. CVS public-relations director Michael DeAngelis sees it differently, telling me that employees who take the survey will pay $600 less for health coverage.