July 18, 2015

Philadelphia becomes largest city to ban smoking in public housing

Rule to go into effect August 5

After a unanimous vote by the Philadelphia Housing Authority's Board of Commissioners, the city will become the largest in the nation to prohibit smoking in public housing.

The decision, which takes effect August 5, will affect 80,000 low-income tenants in Philadelphia, according to a Governing report. The new policy will prohibit smoking inside homes and on public housing property, except in designated outdoor locations.

A poll released by the PHA indicated the 35 percent of respondents either smoked or lived with a smoker, while 55 percent supported living in a smoke-free housing.

The policy puts Philadelphia in the company of cities such as Houston, Boston and Detroit, which have enacted similar prohibitions in recent years.

In part, the move to ban smoking comes at the urging of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which has joined public health officials, researchers and interest groups in for nationwide smoke-free public housing.

Read the full report here.