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NEWS
November 17, 2015 | By Don Sapatkin, Inquirer Staff Writer
Thousands of people who are hospitalized with mental illness in the Philadelphia region will soon experience what has long been the reality for everyone else: living smoke-free. All psychiatric hospitals that have contracts with the city must ban all forms of tobacco, inside and outdoors, among patients and staff, on Dec. 14. All but one is including visitors in the policy, as well. The conventional wisdom is that banning smoking could make matters worse by, among other things, aggravating behavioral problems.
NEWS
October 20, 2015
ISSUE | CIGARETTE TAX An effective tool to combat smoking The commentary attacking cigarette taxes ("Cigarette-tax increases are bad for Pa. business," Wednesday) contained several inaccuracies. Studies have shown that cigarette taxes are an effective strategy for decreasing smoking and reducing smoking-related diseases and deaths. Research also shows that higher tobacco prices help to prevent people, particularly youths, from starting to smoke. While it is true that higher taxes lead some smokers to cross state or county lines for lower prices, most of those who continue smoking neither travel out of state nor seek smugglers to buy cigarettes.
NEWS
August 7, 2015 | By Madeline R. Conway, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
NEWS
July 30, 2015 | By Michaelle Bond, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
NEWS
July 19, 2015 | By Madeline R. Conway, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
NEWS
July 18, 2015
A story Friday on the death of Springfield Literacy Center teacher Scott Matsinger incorrectly identified his alma mater, Albright College. A story Friday on the decision of the Philadelphia Housing Authority to ban smoking in its properties contained an incorrect comparison. The PHA is the largest housing authority to ban smoking. Houston is a larger city than Philadelphia but its housing authority is smaller.
NEWS
July 18, 2015 | By Madeline R. Conway, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Philadelphia Housing Authority's board of commissioners voted unanimously Thursday to ban smoking in all PHA units. Housing officials said Philadelphia, with 80,000 low-income tenants, is the largest city in the country to enact such a prohibition. The new rules are to take effect Aug. 5. According to a poll released by the PHA, 35 percent of respondents smoked or lived with a smoker, and 55 percent supported living in smoke-free housing. Herbert Wetzel, the board's vice chairman, said PHA officials and public-housing residents worked for months to arrive at "a fair and equitable policy to move forward with.
NEWS
July 17, 2015 | By Madeline R. Conway, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Philadelphia Housing Authority on Thursday will consider banning smoking in some of its properties, a move that officials say would make it the largest public housing agency "in the nation to implement such a policy. " If approved by the Board of Commissioners, the measure would ban smoking in at least some of its units, which house about 80,000 low-income residents, a spokesman said Wednesday. The PHA would not say how comprehensive the ban would be. According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, more than 500 housing agencies, including those in Detroit, Boston, and San Antonio, have smoking bans in place.
NEWS
July 1, 2015 | By Marie McCullough, Inquirer Staff Writer
Smoking rates in Philadelphia have dropped to all-time lows, reflecting the effects of a comprehensive tobacco-control campaign, city health officials said Monday. Seven years ago, when rates began steadily falling, 27.3 percent of adults smoked; now, 22.4 percent do. During this period, youth smoking fell from 10.7 to 7.5 percent. Smoking decreased among all racial, ethnic, and socio-economic groups, according to the data, from a regional survey by the nonprofit Public Health Management Corp.
NEWS
May 15, 2015 | By Stacey Burling, Inquirer Staff Writer
We already know that the prospect of earning some cash helps people quit smoking. But a new study from the University of Pennsylvania found that the way cash rewards are structured can make a big difference in how well such programs work. People were far more likely to quit for six months if they had some skin in the game. The problem was getting them to invest some of their own money - they got it back if they stopped smoking - in a reward program. The results were striking enough, though, that CVS Health, which helped fund the study, is launching a deposit-based smoking-cessation program for employees next month.
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