Smoke-Free Housing to Take Effect at All Federal Public Housing Units

Lynette PayneAug 03, 2018

Thousands of public housing tenants are being forced to put their cigarettes out starting Monday.

In July 2017, the policy was expanded to say no smoking was allowed on balconies or patios, and residents had to be at least 25 feet away from the buildings to be able to smoke.

A new US Department of Housing and Urban Development rule goes into effect today.

Senior director of health promotions for the American Lung Association Pat McKone says this rule will protect nearly two million Americans nationwide, including 690,000 children from being exposed to secondhand smoke in their homes.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development said its smoke-free rule would reduce damage and maintenance costs associated with smoking, saving the agency an estimated $153 million in repairs and preventable fires.

The new national mandate will bring the remaining 940,000 HUD housing project in line with the 228,000 already smoke-free. If they can help me stop smoking, that's a great thing.

Officials say secondhand smoke can linger in rooms and travel between homes in multi-unit buildings. The ban does not apply to e-cigarettes, snuff and chewing tobacco, although there may be restrictions on those in some areas.

The HUD website's guidance for local housing authorities includes a procedure that ends with eviction for people who don't follow the rules. This rule will protect close to two million Americans nationwide from being exposed to secondhand smoke in their homes, including 690,000 children.

MHA said it won't be going door to door acting as the smoke police, but if residents are seen smoking in their units or near them, they'll be talked to by management.

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