August 18, 2018

Smoking ban in all public housing takes effect nationwide

01 August 2018, 11:08 | Silvia Roy

The Gompers Houses a NYCHA public housing development as seen from the Williamsburg Bridge

The Gompers Houses a NYCHA public housing development as seen from the Williamsburg Bridge

The ban from the U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) department was announced back in November 2016 but gave Public Housing Agencies until July 31, 2018 to comply.

The ban prohibits smoking tobacco products in all indoor common areas, administrative offices, living units and outdoor areas within 25 feet of the buildings. Tenants are still allowed to smoke on the premises, but only in certain areas.

HUD 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.

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Kathy Maddox tells us that she think the ban is a good idea environmentally but "I think our community where we live, we should be able to do what we want".

Some of the biggest problems people have with the ban is that it attempts to legislate what they can do in their own home.

"Residents have been required to sign new leases acknowledging the new policy and staff will continue to provide smoking cessation program information to residents as requested", Lemons said.

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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, secondhand smoke exposure results in more than 40,000 deaths annually.

"We actually implemented a smoking ban on smoking in the high rise units, our three high rise buildings a long time ago, several years ago", said Doug Wells, executive director for Pennington County Housing.

"It's to protect elderly - because there is elderly on oxygen - from secondhand smoke, staff from second hand smoke, children and families from second hand smoke, said Ince".

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