New smoke-free public housing rule to go into effect

Trevor BaileyAug 03, 2018

The ban from the U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) department was announced back in November 2016 but gave Public Housing Agencies until July 31, 2018 to comply.

"In addition to protecting residents and employees from secondhand smoke, smoke-free policies create healthy environments that encourage people who smoke to quit or attempt to reduce smoking", the department continued.

The risk is especially great for second-hand smoke in public housing with children and adults being exposed.

HUD spokesperson Brian Sullivan says not only is it a public health issue, but by banning all smoking HUD expects to produce a savings of $150 million annually. "And they could overcome this, so I want to work with them to make this as painless as it can be in a hard situation for those that are addicted to smoking", Mayeaux said.

Today is the first day that the nationwide smoking ban went into full affect.

This ban prohibits residents in public housing to smoke inside their homes and directs them to stand at least 25 feet from the building before smoking.

The dangers of smoking are well-documented, but as Rumnit points out, they may not be the authority's biggest priority. Under HUD rules, tenants can be evicted after three smoking violations.

Because the rule is a part of tenant's leases, residents of Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority communities must sign a lease addendum between July 20 and July 30.

The American Lung Association said this will protect close to twomillion Americans from secondhand smoke exposure in their homes.

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