A Tobacco Control Policy & Legal Resource Center
Supporting Smokefree Air & Tobacco-Free Lives

Philadelphia Housing Authority bans smoking in all housing units (Philadelphia Inquirer, Madeline R. Conway)

Posted on

The Philadelphia Housing Authority’s (PHA) board of commissioners voted unanimously Thursday to ban smoking in all PHA units. Housing officials said Philadelphia, with 80,000 low-income tenants, is the largest city in the country to enact such a prohibition. The new rules are to take effect Aug. 5.

Under the policy, smoking will be prohibited inside homes and on public-housing property except in designated outdoor areas. Specifically:

  • Current or future tenants caught smoking in existing housing will be asked to attend counseling sessions, the regulations state, but will not face eviction.
  • Those smoking in buildings that open after the ban goes into effect risk losing their leases if they violate the rules a fourth time.

According to a poll released by the PHA, 35 percent of respondents smoked or lived with a smoker, and 55 percent supported living in smoke-free housing. Philadelphia’s move follows a national trend. Public-housing agencies in other major metropolitan areas, including Houston, Boston, and Detroit, have also gone smoke-free in recent years. Maine banned smoking in public housing in 2012.

Read the full Philadelphia Inquirer story.