New York City Bans Smoking In Public Housing

US Department of Housing and Urban Development 2017 smoke-free policy handbook cover

NYCHA housing is becoming officially smoke-free based on a mandate from U.S. Housing and Urban Development, requiring all public housing to disallow smoking by July 30.

These policies ban the use of cigarettes, cigars, or pipes from public housing units as well as within 25 feet from the buildings.

The American Lung Association applauds the new rule issued by the Trump administration, which the health organization says "recognizes the serious health threat posed by secondhand smoke, and its ability to linger in rooms and even travel between homes in multi-unit housing".

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

Many senior citizens were around during the time when there were no bans on smoking, allowing consumers to smoke in places like restaurants and non-hospitality workplaces.

The smoking ban is an effort to improve air quality and quality of life for those living in public housing. "The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) found that although eight in 10 multiunit housing residents had smoke-free homes, about one-third of those residents reported experiencing secondhand smoke that involuntarily entered their home from other areas on their building".

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Prohibiting smoking in public housing facilities is expected to save an estimated $497 million per year in health care and housing-related costs.

The rule will be part of leases, and residents will be required to sign amendments agreeing to abide by the ban.

Residents of public housing across the USA have filed lawsuits fighting the ban, claiming the ban is arbitrary and is an abuse of HUD's discretion.

This is how it'll work: The new rule will be in the tenant's lease, along with information on how to quit smoking.

"I don't agree with it because we rent our own units, and we're not allowed to smoke in the units; we're not allowed to smoke on our balconies", Minor said.

Researchers estimate the new policy will save roughly $154 million per year.

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