Smoking now banned in public housing nationwide

A new no smoking policy went into effect today at all federal public housing units because of a 2016 Department of Housing and Urban Affairs rule

A new no smoking policy went into effect today at all federal public housing units because of a 2016 Department of Housing and Urban Affairs rule

The smoke-free policy went into effect yesterday, more than a year after the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development passed a rule requiring all public housing nationwide to become smoke-free.

Residents of public housing across the US have filed lawsuits fighting the ban, claiming the ban is arbitrary and is an abuse of HUD's discretion. "They have more things to fix than telling somebody they can't smoke", Robinson said.

The ban was first announced back in November 2016, but housing agencies had until July 31, 2018 to enact the ban.

"Smoking in any area where it is not allowed will be treated as a lease violation", HUD's website states.

"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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NYCHA says the rule is designed "to improve indoor air quality, benefit the health of residents and staff, reduce the risk of fires, and lower overall maintenance costs".

In Richmond however, prohibited tobacco products include all forms electronic cigarettes - defined as any electronic device that provides a vapor of liquid nicotine. There's no smoking within 25 feet of a New York City Housing Authority building.

"I think this will be one of the hardest rules to follow", Perry Rumnit, Jr., a NYCHA resident, says in a promotional video for the policy. Tenants could also face eviction after several smoking violations.

Lewis said the federal smoke-free policy only applies to roughly 2,600 MHA units the agency owns and operates and not to the Section 8 voucher program.

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