Published: Wed, August 01, 2018
Health Care | By Oscar Goodwin

Public housing smoking ban in effect nationwide

Public housing smoking ban in effect nationwide

Smoking is no longer allowed inside public housing nationwide starting today.

Effective Tuesday, July 31, across the country, all publicly-assisted housing units are smoke free. Electronic or e-cigarettes are included in the ban.

Under the terms of the ban, which was passed by the Obama administration in 2016, the use of cigarettes, cigars and pipes is prohibited in all government subsidized housing units.

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HUD says about 228,000 public housing units under more than 600 local agencies have already gone smoke-free, and the new rule will wipe out smoking in more than 940,000 other units.

"Eliminating smoking indoors and close to the building is the only way to fully protect people from secondhand smoke".

The new rule is meant to cut down on secondhand smoke and the risk of smoking-related fires in residential buildings. Tenants with repeated violations could be evicted, according to HUD's website. The policy also extends to all outdoor areas up to 25 feet from the public housing and administrative office buildings.

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"HUD believes that allowing a PHA (public housing agency) to enforce its smoke free policy through lease enforcement actions is the best way to ensure compliance with such policies", the rules read.

The policy was announced two years ago by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, but the agency gave the nation's more than 3,300 local public housing authorities almost two years to begin enforcement.

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