Smoking ban in public housing goes into effect Tuesday


"You have the second-hand smoke dangers, but also the time and the cost of turning around a unit where a family has been smoking", says D.J. Haynes, the Parkersburg Housing Authority's Executive Director. It doesn't apply to e-cigarettes and chewing tobacco.

The policy prohibits tobacco products, including cigarettes, cigars or pipes - in all living units, indoor common areas, administrative offices and all outdoor areas within 25 feet of housing and administrative office buildings, according to a release from HUD.

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

In December 2016, the Department of Housing and Urban Development passed a ruling requiring all housing authorities to have a smoke-free policy in place by July 31, 2018.

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Several hundred thousand NYCHA residents are now barred from smoking in their apartments, hallways or even outside.

Tenants who break the rules under the new smoking ban, risk being evicted after three violations. Not to mention, they estimate it will save public housing agencies $153 million in costs related to healthcare and repairs.

HUD said the new policy would reduce health hazards from secondhand smoke and encourage residents to quit smoking.

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