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August 05, 2015

New non-smoking policy in effect at all Philadelphia Housing Authority properties

A new non-smoking policy went into effect Wednesday at all Philadelphia Housing Authority (PHA) properties, CBSPhilly reports.

Smoking will be prohibited inside or outside, except in designated areas. Current residents who violate the new policy will be given information about quitting. They will also be asked to attend counseling sessions.

For new PHA residents after Wednesday, four violations will result in eviction.

Philadelphia is the largest city to enact such a rule after the PHA Board voted unanimously in favor of the ban. A poll of residents shows 55% support it.

The rule change has received mixed responses from residents, with some expressing that the new policy violates their rights.

"They still shouldn’t have the authority to tell you that you can’t smoke in your own home," JoEllen Rollins told CBSPhilly. "That’s like telling you that you can’t turn on the fire on your stove!"

PHA President Kelvin Jeremiah said the policy aims to help smokers to quit. 

"Ultimately, our goal is not to be punitive," he told CBSPhilly. "Our goal is to help our families live in good environments and frankly just stop smoking."