September 26, 2014 |
MORE THAN 500,000 Philadelphians have been regular smokers at some point in their lives. Approximately half have quit smoking. The other half continue to smoke. "I started smoking when I was twelve," said Susan McTamney, a former City of Philadelphia employee. "I stole my first cigarette off my sister. I smoked for 36 years . . . 4 packs per day for the last 15 years of my smoking habit. " Yet most smokers don't want to be smokers. In fact, nine out of ten regret having ever started smoking, and the majority have tried to quit in the past year.
January 15, 2014
THE 1964 U.S. Surgeon General's report on smoking - the first official acknowledgment by the federal government that smoking kills - was an extraordinarily progressive document for its time. It swiftly led to a federal law that restricted tobacco advertising and required the now-familiar warning label on cigarette packs. This past Saturday marked the report's 50th anniversary. The intervening decades have seen remarkable progress against smoking in the United States, despite the stubborn efforts of the tobacco industry, which lobbied, obfuscated and sometimes lied outright to the public about the dangers of its products.
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.
November 17, 2012 |
Smoking rates in Philadelphia have reached their lowest levels in recent history, city officials announced Thursday. Smoking among adults in the city has fallen by almost 15 percent since 2008, Health Commissioner Donald F. Schwarz said at an event marking the American Cancer Society's 37th annual Great American Smokeout. In Philadelphia, 40,000 adults have given up smoking since 2008, Schwarz said, attributing the drop to the city's Clean Indoor Air Law, a federal hike in the cigarette tax, and the "Get Healthy Philly" initiative.
January 11, 2012 |
The vaunted Geisinger Health System in central Pennsylvania ushered in the new year by becoming the latest employer to resolve not to hire smokers. The shift toward policies that ban smokers, not just smoking, has been growing in Pennsylvania and the 20 other states that allow it. Beginning in the 1980s with big companies such as Turner Broadcasting and Alaska Airlines, no-nicotine hiring practices have been embraced by police and fire departments, medical centers, even an Ohio casino.
December 24, 2010 |
Mayor Nutter talked about one of his Christmas wishes yesterday - reducing smoking rates in Philadelphia. Just in time for the holiday weekend, Nutter signed into law legislation that hikes the fines for merchants who sell tobacco products to minors. "We cannot allow our children to become the next generation of addicts," Nutter said. "Smoking is not cool at all. " The new law, approved by City Council several weeks ago, would raise the penalty for selling tobacco to minors from $100 to $250 per incident.
November 17, 2010 |
The Nutter administration and City Council, hoping to reduce the relatively high smoking rates among Philadelphia children and adults, are planning bigger fines for merchants who sell tobacco products to minors. A national survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that smoking rates among high-school youth in Philadelphia rank among the highest in the nation's big cities, city Health Commissioner Donald Schwarz testified yesterday in Council. About half of Philadelphia high-school students have smoked a cigarette at least once, and studies show that up to half of them will become daily smokers as adults, Schwarz said.
September 23, 2010
Re: "Let's clear the air," editorial, Sept. 11: Of the 10 largest cities in the country, Philadelphia has the highest rate of smoking among adults and high school students. Nearly three in 10 adult Philadelphians - or 300,000 people - smoke regularly. That's enough smokers to fill more than four Lincoln Financial Fields. Smoking in Philadelphia is both a public-health and economic crisis: 2,500 Philadelphians die every year from smoking-related diseases. Of existing smokers, one in two will die of a smoking-related disease.
September 11, 2010
For nonsmokers living in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and other states with indoor smoking bans, these should be the best of times: The ashtrays have been removed from workplaces, and customers no longer have to gag on cigarette smoke at their favorite restaurant, bar, or nightspot. But the latest government assessment on smoking rates and exposure to secondhand smoke shows that the nation's battle to stem smoking - and the 443,000 annual deaths it causes - has ground to a standstill.
December 28, 2009
The nation's battle against smoking and its many health-related perils has had more ups and downs than a patient fever chart: Tobacco revenues go up, but government spending on antismoking programs declines, as smoking rates creep up. The challenge is to drive those numbers in the right direction to improve public health. But on the heels of the first reported increase in smoking in a decade - driven mostly by younger smokers - comes a study documenting that states see the benefits of antismoking programs and are trying to maintain funding.