June 19, 2014 |
HIS LIVING ROOM was a bit disheveled, the victim of last-minute haste. An enormous stack of silver and red sat in the corner. At the top was the square, metallic-blue helmet of Optimus Prime, overlooking the house with its antennae-like ears pointed upward. It was just four days until Wizard World Philadelphia and Eric "The Smoke" Moran was making the final alterations to his new lineup of costumes with the same fervor and excitement of a believer on Christmas Eve. In the basement of his Chestnut Hill townhouse, all four walls are covered with film posters, drawings and action figures - most still in their original packing.
June 12, 2014 |
Two Southwest Philadelphia honor students had a pretty good excuse for being 40 minutes late for school Tuesday: After two explosions and a fire in a neighbor's house, the pair of high school students broke a rear window, clambered over broken glass, raced up a smoke-filled staircase, pulled a sleeping boy out of bed, then hustled him out the rear door. "They're both heroes," exclaimed Rennu Teli-Johnson, principal of Motivation High School on Baltimore Avenue. "But one of them still owes me his senior-project topic.
May 1, 2014 |
PHILADELPHIA Just in time for spring picnics and outdoor recreational sports leagues, Mayor Nutter signed an executive order Tuesday immediately banning smoking of tobacco in city parks. The order, which does not carry any penalties or fines, is an extension of the city's Clean Indoor Air Worker Protection Act, which prohibits smoking in workplaces, restaurants, and bars. It is similar to a 2011 executive order that made recreation centers, pools, and playgrounds smoke-free. Those policies, Nutter said, have helped reduce the number of smokers in the city by 42,000 since 2010.
March 20, 2014 |
SMOKING. Cigarettes. Two words that provoke an ideological hatred whenever spoken, especially when rolling off the tongue of this country's politicians. Policymakers are terrified of smoking and its effects on public health, and because "cigarettes" remains in the name of our product, they jump to rash decisions regarding electronic cigarettes. It is in this haze of fear that politicians who are lobbying to ban electronic cigarettes end up leaning on preconceived notions, conflicting interests and few scientific findings to base their arguments.
March 17, 2014
THE MOST recent burning issue to be dragged before City Council resulted in both heat and light and a peculiar arrangement of the political constellation. Council was hearing testimony on whether electronic cigarettes, so-called smokeless cigarettes, which do not burn, should be treated the same as tobacco cigarettes, which do burn and emit smoke. Presenting the all-clear (among others) was Bill Godshall, executive director of SmokeFreePA, an anti-smoking organization opposed to the legislation sponsored by Councilman Bill Greenlee.
March 15, 2014 |
Twenty-one percent of Pennsylvania's adults smoke cigarettes. And if Michael Wolf has his way, none should be able to light up if they live in apartment or condominium complexes. Wolf, secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Health, delivered that message to landlords at the beginning of the year. It was more of an encouragement than a mandate. But it appears to have resonated as housing sites across the state have either banned or restricted smoking. Forty-five of Pennsylvania's 67 counties now have at least one multiunit housing site that is smoke-free, said Judy Ochs, director of the state Division of Tobacco Prevention and Control.
March 14, 2014 |
A CITY COUNCIL committee yesterday agreed to treat e-cigarettes the same as the traditional kind, banning their sale to minors and applying the same no smoking limits. The action came despite e-cig advocates who say the legislation is a total puff piece. Opponents of the bill, sponsored by Councilman Bill Greenlee, came out in droves to testify against it. Sparks flew when Greenlee began to butt heads with Bill Godshall, executive director of Smoke Free PA. Godshall insisted that e-cig use is a safe alternative to smoking and that users should consider the vapors emitted no more dangerous than the carcinogens that can be found in the very carpet lining the council chambers floor.
March 10, 2014 |
Black, white, pink . . . I just wanted to see smoke. It was March 13, 2013. I was in St. Peter's Square in Vatican City awaiting smoke, smoke that would signal a new pope, or no new pope, or, maybe, a colorful statement by Catholic women protesters. Little had I imagined four months earlier when I booked my first Road Scholar trip that a pope would resign in February, and then a conclave would convene, and then the eyes of the world would be on the Eternal City the very week I was there.
February 22, 2014 |
TRENTON An Assembly committee advanced legislation Thursday that would make New Jersey the first state to ban smoking in all public parks and beaches. About one-third of New Jersey municipalities have some outdoor public bans in place, supporters said. "When you look at our public beaches and our public parks, we certainly do not want people to experience secondhand smoke. We certainly don't want to increase the litter of cigarette butts," said Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D., Bergen)
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.