An academic study found that waiting for the bus is so awful that it can actually compel your mind to lie to you. Every minute that you wait for the bus feels the same as 4.4 minutes actually riding the bus.
That got us thinking: Should Philadelphia ban smoking at bus shelters? After all, being hot-boxed by cigarette fumes must make the wait feel even longer (unless you’re the person lighting up), right? If Philadelphia can make the wait more pleasant by banning smoking at bus shelters, maybe SEPTA will attract more riders.
The bigger potential benefit, of course, is that the measure could discourage smoking just a little bit more. Philadelphia’s smoking rate fell to an all-time low in 2014-15, in part, health officials believe, because of the city’s ban on smoking in bars, restaurants, workplaces, parks and several other locations.
“Looking at the robust literature on the issue, smoking bans not only protect people from secondhand smoke, but also give smokers an additional reason to quit,” said Giridhar Mallya, director of policy and planning for Philadelphia’s Department of Public Health. Read more »
1. Philly’s smoking rate has fallen to a record low.
The gist: CBS3 reports that “the percentage of adult Philadelphians who smoke has dropped from 27.3 percent in 2008 to 22.4 percent in 2014-15, according to data from the Southeastern Pennsylvania Household Health Survey.” Even more impressive: A drop took place among all ethnicities and socioeconomic groups in the city, and it happened after smoking rates went up in 2000 and 2008. Also, the recent smoking rate doesn’t factor in the full impact of Philly’s new cigarette tax, which has likely caused smoking to become even less common. Read more »
If you’re a smoker, you know firsthand that there are fewer and fewer places for you to take a hassle-free drag these days. Now, if you’re a condo owner in a Center City high-rise like Society Hill Towers or the Rittenhouse, you can’t even smoke in the privacy of your own home. According to a report in The Inquirer, smoking bans in luxury buildings are becoming a trend across the nation and Philadelphia has started to join the crowd.
For one, there are some obvious health issues for those exposed to secondhand smoke–a noble cause for a condo association to undertake. It also comes down to the resale value of the unit itself, something Allan Domb backed up, calling it a “tough sell” if there’s a lingering “odor” from a smoker.
Current owners who smoke in buildings that institute a no-smoking policy would be “grandfathered” in and allowed to smoke in-unit, provided they register with the building. We’re not going to lie, it seems like a bigger pain than standing outside the pub in 10-degree weather to enjoy a cigarette:
If there are complaints against grandfathered smokers for smoke and/or odor escaping from their unit into hallways or other units, those smokers must caulk and seal gaps in their units, and may have to buy special air-filter machines. If that doesn’t resolve the complaints, grandfathered status can be revoked and they can be subject to fines and sanctions.
Condo buildings are banning smoking, even in residents’ own units [The Inquirer]
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Dom Costa is a wimp.
The state representative from Allegheny has introduced a bill that would ban Pennsylvanians from smoking while driving — as long as a child under the age of 12 is in the car with them. Get caught? You’re fined $250.
“Second-hand smoke poses a series of serious health risks to individuals,” Costa says, “and children are among the most vulnerable because they are still developing physically, have higher breathing rates than adults, and have little control over their indoor environments.”
He’s right. It’s unfair — evil, even — to poison children as the byproduct of a hobby. So it’s time to go a few steps further than Costa is proposing.
It’s time to ban tobacco smoking in Pennsylvania, now and forever.
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Gloucester City is a 2.7-square mile town along the Delaware River just south of Camden, with the New Jersey end of the Walt Whitman Bridge sitting within its boundaries. And thanks to a new ordinance, you can’t light up in part of Gloucester City unless you are sitting inside of your home. Read more »
The Star-Ledger reports from New Jersey: “The state Legislature today approved a bill that would ban people from smoking in county and municipal parks but allow towns and counties to create a smoking section on their beaches.” The smoking sections would be limited to 15 percent of beaches.
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A bill that would ban smoking on New Jersey’s beaches has taken another step closer to becoming a reality, but with a loophole big enough for a Sea Isle ice truck.
The beach smoking ban bill, which was introduced last summer, would prohibit smoking in New Jersey’s parks and beaches. It just passed the state senate, but with an amendment tacked on at the last minute that would allow towns to set up designed smoking areas on up to 20% of their beaches.
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Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter seems to be in the middle of an existential crisis. Now, normally this confrontation with life, the universe, and everything is perfectly natural and OK. That is, most men react to these crises with something harmless like impulse-buying a sports car.
The problem here, though, is that Nutter is taking at least 375,000 Philadelphians along for his ride into the “What’s the point?” abyss with his new executive order “banning” smoking in public parks.
Nutter’s the guy who callously slashed library funding by $8 million in 2008, eliminating 117 library jobs. Later, Nutter tearfully “corrected” his wrong by putting back a fraction ($2.5 million) of the original cut in his proposed budget this year. He also proposed the new property tax valuations, called the AVI. It’s arguably a necessary fix but nobody’s happy about it, particularly because the AVI seems at best complicated and at worst arbitrary. And, Nutter’s the guy currently presiding over a police force disproportionately arresting black people while seemingly ignoring white people violating those very same laws.
Basically, Nutter seems to be in the middle of an identity crisis because he sure as hell looks a lot like former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg right now.
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Thinking of lighting up a smoke in Rittenhouse Square? You can still do it, but you’ll be breaking the law.
On Tuesday, Mayor Michael Nutter signed into law a bill banning smoking in the city’s parks. Per the mayor’s own words, the ban is “effective immediately.”
Nutter says there are no talks in expanding a smoking ban to public city streets. The new park smoking ban comes for the usual reasons governments pass them: Concerns over secondhand smoke, general environmental worries and as an encouragement for smokers to quit.
“Eliminating smoking in public parks is a commonsense policy that clearly aligns with our City’s existing smoke-free regulations for recreation centers, pools and playgrounds. Specifically, this policy protects the environment and the health and wellness of our citizens,” the mayor said in a release.
The ban will be enforced by staffers in city parks and essentially has no penalty associated with it. Per a city press release, the Parks and Recreation and Public Health departments will also be doing “No butts about it” PSAs.
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