Public housing nationwide goes smoke-free on Tuesday

Aug 03, 2018, 10:17
Public housing nationwide goes smoke-free on Tuesday

The rule prohibits smoking in any New York City public housing apartment or building or within 25 feet of the building.

HUD announced in November 2016 that all federally-owned public housing must be smokefree by July 30, 2018.

"HUD's smoke-free rule is a reflection of our commitment to using housing as a platform to create healthy communities", Castro said in a news release.

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In Richmond however, prohibited tobacco products include all forms electronic cigarettes - defined as any electronic device that provides a vapor of liquid nicotine.

The smoking ban is an effort to improve air quality and quality of life for those living in public housing.

HUD spokesperson Brian Sullivan says not only is it a public health issue, but by banning all smoking HUD expects to produce a savings of $150 million annually. Through the agency's voluntary policy and local initiatives, more than 228,000 public housing units were already smoke-free in 2016.

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Stevens Point Housing Authority Executive Director Donna Bella can't help but think of the special circumstances in Wisconsin as this rule takes effect across the country.

The American Lung Association said this will protect close to twomillion Americans from secondhand smoke exposure in their homes.

"Smoking actually damages the units, whether it's the paint or the cabinets", he said.

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The Housing Authority says since this is an unfunded rule, they don't have the money to set up designated smoke areas, and the best solution for the wide variety of complexes is to rule it out completely.

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