Local Reaction From Nationwide Smoking Ban

Local Reaction From Nationwide Smoking Ban

Smoking will not be allowed in or near public housing units starting on Tuesday, due to a newly-implemented rule from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The policy was announced two years ago by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, but the agency gave the nation's more than 3,300 local public housing authorities almost two years to begin enforcement. This new policy will protect residents and staff of public housing units, many of whom are senior citizens, children, and people with disabilities, from the dangers of secondhand smoke. The ban does not apply to e-cigarettes, snuff and chewing tobacco, although there may be restrictions on those in some areas. Tenants can smoke 25 feet away from their homes.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will no longer permit the use of cigarettes, cigars, or pipes on the premises of its housing units. Not to mention, they estimate it will save public housing agencies $153 million in costs related to healthcare and repairs.

The new nationwide HUD rule's goal is to provide healthier homes to public housing residents.

There are groups around the country who have filed lawsuits regarding the ban, but HUD says it's legal because it's about where someone - not whether someone smokes. The Pennington County Housing and Redevelopment Association buildings have been smoking free since April 2017.

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

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