Public housing residents can no longer smoke in their homes

Residents in public housing are no longer allowed to smoke inside the building, thanks to a new policy that took effect Tuesday, July 31.

Under the terms of the ban, which was passed by the Obama administration in 2016, the use of cigarettes, cigars and pipes is prohibited in all government subsidized housing units.

According to the ban, residents will not be allowed to smoke inside public housing buildings, or anywhere within 25 feet of a building. Electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes, have not been banned but may be in the future.

The movement is part of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's ban on smoking in public housing, a rule that was passed almost two years ago in November 2016.

"Eliminating smoking indoors and close to the building is the only way to fully protect people from secondhand smoke". "When we first learned of the new HUD rule requiring public housing to go smoke-free, we knew it was critical to engage our residents on the smoke-free conversation and what this will mean for their homes and public health overall in NYCHA communities", said NYCHA Interim Chair and CEO Stanley Brezenoff in a written statement. Tenants could also face eviction after several smoking violations. New Yorkers can lose their apartment if they violate the smoking ban.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), HUD's national smoke-free policy will save public housing agencies $153 million every year in repairs and preventable fires, including $94 million in secondhand smoke-related health care, $43 million in renovation of smoking-permitted units, and $16 million in smoking-related fire losses.

Vanessa Coleman