Philadelphia’s public housing residents are breathing in less secondhand smoke since a 2015 comprehensive smoke-free policy went into place, a new study indicates.
Dr. Ann Klassen, a professor in Drexel University’s Dornsife School of Public Health, led the study that monitored nicotine levels in Philadelphia Housing Authority properties both before and after the smoke-free policy was implemented. Dr. Klassen and her team found that although the number of places where nicotine was detected remained unchanged, the levels of detected nicotine were reduced by almost half after the policy was enacted.
“This is encouraging,” Dr. Klassen said. “These data show a reduction in exposure to airborne nicotine, which is an indicator of reduced exposure to secondhand smoke, and, therefore, healthier air in multi-unit housing.”
With the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) now requiring all public housing authorities across the U.S. to implement smoke-free policies by 2018, these findings from Philadelphia are a timely look at what could be accomplished.