February 7, 2014
DURING the last decade, local, state and federal governments have sought to make smoking inconvenient by restricting where and when people can light up. They have made it more expensive by increasing taxes. They have tried to make it scary by requiring ever larger and blunter warnings about the health risks of smoking on cigarette packaging. And they have worked to make it un-cool, most recently with a new advertising and social-media campaign this week aimed at teens. But even as the efforts to convince people not to smoke have gotten more aggressive, the smoking rate has remained about the same.
January 25, 2014 |
PHILADELPHIA At a meeting full of new business on everything from banning e-cigarettes to building a skyscraper, City Council on Thursday wrapped up an old debate from the two-year-old rewrite of the zoning code. This was actually the second time Council had changed the rules for "registered community organizations," the neighborhood and interest groups that must be notified and consulted on building projects launched on their turf. A year ago, Council approved changes championed by Councilwoman Jannie L. Blackwell, even overriding a mayoral veto of her bill.
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.
January 11, 2014
A half-century after the historic U.S. surgeon general's finding that smoking sickens and kills, the Philadelphia region could be viewed as one of the nation's key battlegrounds in the continuing struggle to stem the health scourge, which leads to 443,000 deaths a year and costs billions of dollars in medical care and lost productivity. Despite the remarkable success in reducing national smoking rates by more than half - to 18 percent - Philadelphia stands out as having the highest rate of adult smoking, around 25 percent, among the country's 10 largest cities, according to the Pennsylvania Medical Society.
December 29, 2013 |
Fred Contino has been smoking since he was 13. He is, at 53, trying to quit. He has replaced his Marlboro Reds with a small, white plastic tube - his new prescription nicotine inhaler. "It's going to take time," he says. "When I want a cigarette, I try and take puffs on it. That takes away the craving for a little bit, but the cravings are still there. " Contino is one of about 44 million cigarette smokers in the United States, 19 percent of all adults, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
October 27, 2013 |
Smoking even in one's own home may someday be a thing of the past, as more real estate developers and landlords in the Philadelphia region are embracing the trend toward healthy housing. The 86-unit South Star Lofts at 521 S. Broad St. will prohibit smoking when it opens in early 2014, said Marianne Harris, director of marketing for the owner, Dranoff Properties. Tenants there will pay about $1,600 monthly for a studio and as much as $2,600 for a two-bedroom apartment, Harris said.
October 15, 2013
No smoking here With regard to the push to ban smoking in casinos, there is little to no chance of current proposals becoming law ("A risk casinos can do without," Oct. 4). Instead, legislators and public-health advocates should consider smoke-free electronic cigarettes as a solution. According to a study funded by the National Institutes of Health, e-cigarette vapor contains fewer toxicants than secondhand smoke. Data like this led Drexel University professor Igor Burstyn to conclude in a recent, comprehensive review that the vapor poses no threat.
October 8, 2013 |
EAST RUTHERFORD N.J. - Two things that felt inevitable finally happened yesterday at MetLife Stadium. First, the Eagles won a football game, which the NFL's second-ranked offense just about had to get around to doing again sooner or later. For now we won't quibble with the fact that Eli Manning had to throw three fourth-quarter interceptions to seal the outcome. And second, 33-year-old Michael Vick watched the second half of the Eagles' 36-21 victory over the host New York Giants from the sideline, wearing a baseball cap, after grabbing his left hamstring at the end of a 13-yard run to the New York sideline with 4:31 left in the second quarter.
September 30, 2013 |
The American Society of Home Inspectors contacted me with its concerns regarding ionization smoke detection. According to the National Fire Protection Association, ionization alarms have a small amount of radioactive material between two electrically charged plates that ionizes the air and causes current to flow between the plates. When smoke enters a chamber, it disrupts the flow of ions, reducing the flow of current, activating the alarm. Though such alarms respond best to "flaming fires," the group says, photoelectric smoke detection is more responsive to fires that begin with smoldering.
September 29, 2013 |
NUMEROUS Philly firefighters were in the unusual position yesterday of having to douse furious flames at their own building. An ambulance inexplicably caught fire inside the headquarters for Ladder 2, at 4th and Arch streets, shortly after 11:30 a.m., filling the Old City firehouse with a blanket of black smoke. "It's not something that you see often," said Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers. Two medics called for help after trying unsuccessfully to put out the fire, which appeared to have started in the engine, with an extinguisher, Ayers said.