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 »
An email from a PR representative from the drugmaker today says the event — meant to help Philadelphians quit smoking with the help of two of GSK’s smoking cessation drugs — will be held sometime in 2015.
Every Philadelphian who has passed through the new Dilworth Park since its opening has come away with the same thought: This place could really use a 20-foot-tall cigarette butt.
Stop holding your breath and let out that last drag, Philadelphians: On Friday, GlaxoSmithKline will erect a 20-foot-tall cigarette butt in order to promote their Nicorette and NicoDerm CQ smoking cessation drugs. Hey, Dilworth Park wasn’t cheap.
The event will take place from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. And, to make this mashup of a drug company and a public park even better, Dancing with the Stars’ Mark Ballas — a paid GSK spokesman — will make an appearance to encourage people to quit smoking. Sure, why not? He quit smoking a year ago.
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 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s most recent ad campaign is a series of graphic TV ads called “Tips From Former Smokers” that outline—in gritty detail—the negative effects of smoking. They include Terrie, a 40-year-old woman diagnosed with oral and throat cancer; Amanda, a 30-year-old woman whose smoking during pregnancy resulted in a premature birth; and Brian, a 45-year-old gay man who suffered a stroke as a result of complications from smoking and being HIV-positive. (Check out his video above.)
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.
You’ve probably heard the term “vaping” a lot recently. It’s used to describe the use of e-cigarettes and experiencing the inhalation of the “vapors” from the product. Vape shops are cropping up everywhere in Philly, allowing customers to use e-cigarettes in their venues and tapping into the now billion dollar industry.
No doubt, sudden prevalence of these cafes is strengthening the marketing strategy for e-cigs, but it raises some questions, too. As a physician, it’s important for me to understand lifestyle habits of patients that may place their health at risk. I’ve added e-cigarettes to my history-taking list of questions. From a public-health perspective, here are some answers to some of the concerns:
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 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.