May 7, 2016
What happened Thursday? The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced that for the first time, e-cigarettes and their ingredients will have to be reviewed by regulators in order to remain on the market. The new rules also extend long-standing restrictions on traditional cigarettes to e-cigarettes as well as hookahs, pipe tobacco, and nicotine gels. Minors will be banned from buying the products. How many minors use e-cigs? More than 15 percent of high school students have reported using e-cigarettes, a number up more than 900 percent over the last five years, according to federal figures.
November 18, 2015
ISSUE | MEDICARE Help kidney patients Harold Brubaker's article on Medicare Advantage open enrollment ("Seniors shopping for private Medicare have many new choices," Nov. 10) might have noted that some 4,700 beneficiaries in the Philadelphia area are not permitted to choose private plans because they have kidney failure, also known as end-stage renal disease. This prohibition may have made sense three decades ago, when private Medicare plans were created, but today it constitutes discrimination, preventing kidney patients from enjoying the maximum out-of-pocket limits that apply in private plans but not in traditional fee-for-service Medicare.
October 9, 2015 |
WITH LESS than three months remaining in office, Mayor Nutter yesterday unveiled what is, perhaps, one of his boldest moves: legislation to ban the sale of tobacco products from any place where health-care services are provided and where pharmaceutical drugs are sold. That would include drug stores and grocery stores with pharmacies. The legislation, introduced on behalf of Nutter's administration by retiring Councilwoman Marian Tasco during City Council's weekly meeting, also would ban the sale of electronic smoking devices and unapproved nicotine delivery products.
May 15, 2015 |
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.
November 27, 2014 |
Philadelphia added a new move to its fight against smoking Tuesday, recognizing merchants for ending tobacco sales. Seven business owners tell their end-of-tobacco-sales stories in a series of online videos posted by SmokeFree Philly, an antismoking project run by the city Department of Public Health. One said she chose to pull tobacco from her shelves after being a smoker herself, another after he developed emphysema that he believes came from secondhand smoke at his tavern. "Ethically and morally, it just wasn't right for me to carry cigarettes," Donna Horger, owner and head pharmacist at Brooks Pharmacy on Torresdale Avenue in Tacony, said in an interview.
October 29, 2014 |
A NEW TOBACCO-FREE pharmacy network is encouraging city employees to put the pack down. The initiative, called The Preferred Health Network, urges city employees not covered by union-based health benefits to get their medication at pharmacies that don't sell tobacco products. If the employees choose not to, they'll be charged $15 on top of their co-pays. In addition, any employee or employee spouse who has used tobacco in the last year will see a $500 annual increase in their health-care costs.
October 25, 2014 |
Looking to better manage health-care costs, the Nutter administration is taking two big swings at tobacco. Come Jan. 1, Philadelphia will add a $500 annual premium to benefits costs for nonunion employees who use tobacco products, and a $15 surcharge for prescriptions filled at pharmacies that sell tobacco products. The charge on prescription co-pays is part of a plan being launched by the city in partnership with CVS Caremark, a pharmacy benefits provider owned by the parent company of CVS drug stores.
June 22, 2014 |
A proposal for the University of Pennsylvania to divest its $7.7 billion endowment from tobacco stocks died Friday without a vote by the board of trustees. Board chairman David L. Cohen said tobacco does not qualify as a "moral evil" - a criterion for divestment under Penn's policy - even though it causes serious health problems. "Let me be clear," Cohen said on the floor of the trustees meeting on campus Friday, "I am no friend of tobacco. I don't use tobacco products. I've never used tobacco products.
June 21, 2014 |
Few would argue that tobacco has any redeeming qualities, but is it a "moral evil"? That's the question members of the University of Pennsylvania's board of trustees likely will grapple with Friday when they consider a proposal to prohibit the investment of university endowment funds in tobacco products. The discussion follows an open letter signed by 530 senior Penn faculty members, urging divestment from tobacco companies, and a 17-page proposal authored by Penn professors and several others.
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.