The Science of Why Philadelphia’s Public Housing is Going Smoke Free

Drexel News Blog

By Deutschlandreform (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons No Smoking photo by Deutschlandreform [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons On July 16, 2015, Philadelphia’s public housing agency became the largest in the country to go smoke-free in its communities. It’s a new policy informed by a solid base of scientific evidence—some of which was generated through evaluation research done in partnership between city agencies and the Drexel University School of Public Health.

Ann Klassen, PhD, a professor in Drexel’s School of Public Health, has worked with the Philadelphia Housing Authority (PHA) and Philadelphia Department of Public Health (PDPH) since 2011 on the evaluation of the impact of smoking in public housing. The monitoring data from this evaluation was an important element of the evidence base that led the PHA’s Board of Commissioners to vote unanimously in support of the new policy.

“We found that 70 to 85 percent of common areas, and over 20…

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