Smoking banned in public housing nationwide, effective today

Smoking banned in public housing nationwide, effective today

Smoking banned in public housing nationwide, effective today

The new rule was initially announced in 2016, but HUD gave all federally-owned public housing units until July 30 to implement it. The ban will not prohibit e-cigarettes, snuff, or chewing tobacco.

She'll now have to walk farther to light up-at least 25 feet away from building entrances and not inside her apartment.

Approximately 2 million people live in public housing including more than 500,000 elderly residents and 760,000 children.

Prior to the ban's enactment, roughly 228,000 public housing units were already smoke-free, CBS News reported.

The new rule is not being universally embraced - a smoker's rights group in NY is suing to block the ban on the grounds that it violates tenants' constitutional rights.

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"You have the second-hand smoke dangers, but also the time and the cost of turning around a unit where a family has been smoking", says D.J. Haynes, the Parkersburg Housing Authority's Executive Director.

The rule is created to protect people in public housing from secondhand smoke. "So that means I pay rent here and I have to go out and stand in the middle of the street just to smoke a cigarette?" Public housing was an exception until Monday, when the New York City Housing Authority and the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene kicked off an initiative to improve air quality for those living and working in NYCHA apartments.

Ince said residents were given ample time to prepare for the new rule and have their questions answered.

"Chronic diseases are preventable and we think this policy, in the years to come, you will see the impact", NYC Department of Health Assistant Commissioner Javier Lopez said.

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