Juul Stopping Selling Some Flavors

Philadelphia Health Commissioner Tom Farley said the company’s actions don’t go far enough. “Juul is making these changes because it is under pressure from the FDA.  But if they were serious about protecting kids, they would discontinue all of their flavorings and target their marketing specifically to adult smokers who want to quit,” Farley said in a statement.


By Aneri Pattani

3ForMe Social Media Campaign

Over the course of one year, six Facebook advertising campaigns were developed to direct adolescents to the 3forME Facebookpage and website.  Adolescents with a Facebook account who self-identified as 13-18 years of age and living in Philadelphia were prioritized to receive advertisements.  Advertisements, which ran for two-week periods, were displayed on the right side of the Facebook login page and varied by themes, images, and text, each linking to HPV immunization. Additionally, we sent reminder-recall letters to adolescents who were due for HPV vaccine at two city health centers where we held weekly vaccine clinics.


By Salini Mohanty

Take Control Philly Highlight

You might not know this, but a branch of Philadelphia’s Department of Public Health launched an effort dubbed Take Control Philly that’s all about providing the tools and knowledge to promote safe sex in the city.

Its website is a solid resource, covering many sex-focused frequently asked questions like: How can I get tested for STDs? And how do I ask my partner to use a condom? And there is a contact form you can fill out with specific questions.


By Bailey King

Philadelphia Getting Health Care Right

“In 1751, Benjamin Franklin co-founded America’s first public hospital in Philadelphia. Today, the City of Brotherly Love stays true to that history, scoring high for hospital quality and availability of highly rated specialists. Meanwhile, residents can take independent steps toward better population health by improving lifestyle habits like regular exercise and maintaining a normal weight.”

The Healthgrades rankings came out about the same time the Philadelphia Department of Public Health issued its own report that found in some city neighborhoods residents have limited access to basic primary care. The health department study found the shortage was most severe in the Far Northeast and southwest sections of the city, with one primary-care provider for every 3,500 residents.


By John George

Sharps Containers Installed in Kensington

Sharps deposit boxes are Philadelphia’s newest tool in its four-week-old recovery campaign for opioid-plagued Kensington. Last week, the Philadelphia Public Health Department installed seven of the safe syringe disposal bins at SEPTA stops and public parks throughout the Kensington neighborhood where Mayor Jim Kenney declared a ‘disaster’ earlier this month. The new waste bins are the size and shape of curbside mail dropboxes —  the hope is that people will dump their used hypodermics there, instead of leaving them on the ground.


By Nina Feldman

Centralized Intake Systems in Home Visiting

Sara Kinsman is the director of the health departments’s Division of Maternal, Child and Family Health, which received the grant. The first iteration of the centralized referral system will be a hotline that she hopes is launched by next summer.

Kinsman said that the providers will work together to plan the system’s next phases. But they already agree that its final form will allow for family choice, meaning the system’s clients will be included in the decision-making process about which provider seems best for them.


By Grace Shallow

Fentanyl Overtaking Heroin

The answers they received shocked them. Of the drug users the Health Department surveyed, 45 percent told researchers that they weren’t trying to avoid fentanyl at all — that they would be more likely to use a bag of fentanyl.

“There was more acceptance — it had become part of the community in a way it hadn’t been initially. It was actually something people were going for because it was an enhanced high,” said Kendra Viner, manager of the department’s Opioid Surveillance Program. “And people between 25 and 34 years old were significantly more likely to say they would seek out fentanyl.”


By Aubrey Whelan