Smoking Rates Drop to All-Time Low in Philadelphia

Thousands of Philadelphians have taken their final drag and have stubbed out their last cigarettes, as smoking rates in the city have reached an all-time low.

The percentage of adult smokers in Philadelphia dropped to 22.4 percent in 2014-2015, representing an 18 percent drop among Philadelphia adults and a 30 percent drop among teens since 2008. Data from the Southeastern Pennsylvania Household Health Survey shows that the result is 60,000 fewer smokers in the city.

“We’re turning the tide against tobacco,” said Mayor Michael Nutter. “My administration has made it a priority to prevent youth from taking up smoking, to help current smokers kick the habit and protect residents from secondhand smoke in indoor and outdoor spaces.”

These studies do not reflect Philadelphia’s $2 per pack cigarette tax that went into effect October 2014, as experience from other communities suggests up to one year is needed to see the initial effects of a tax increase.

Philadelphia’s smoking rate is still higher than the national average of 17.8 percent.

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