Smoking now banned in public housing

Nora Nguyen
August 2, 2018

According to HUD, at least 600 of its more than 3,100 Public Housing Agencies across the country already had smoke-free policies in place when the rule was announced in 2016.

Starting Tuesday, the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development bars the use of cigarettes, cigars and pipes in any public housing unit and common areas, including hallways and on a porch. "But they won't stop, but they might stop smoking around here".

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The ban also prohibits smoking in areas up to 25 feet away from public housing units and administrative office buildings, according to a brochure from the department.

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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"Smoking in any area where it is not allowed will be treated as a lease violation", HUD's website states. NYCHA's goal is to not terminate tenancy but to provide information and expand access to resources should residents want to quit smoking.

"I'm an adult and I feel like I am being treated like a child when you tell me I can't smoke if I choose to smoke", West said.

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Wells says banning smoking not only benefits the people who live there, but keeps the building itself cleaner. The new rule allows NYCHA staff and residents to report violations; enforcement will include an informal conversation to discuss the smoking ban along with the provision of educational materials.

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