NYCHA developments set to become smoke-free Monday

Faith Castro
August 3, 2018

Smoking in public housing across the US has been snuffed out.

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

Both HUD and the American Lung Association says it's created to protect the health of people living in federally-funded housing from second-hand smoke.

HUD announced in November 2016 that all federally-owned public housing must be smokefree by July 30, 2018.

If you live in public housing, you must smoke at least 25 feet away from properties, and housing authorities even have the option of banning it completely. "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.

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The Housing Authority says since this is an unfunded rule, they don't have the money to set up designated smoke areas, and the best solution for the wide variety of complexes is to rule it out completely. The Truth Initiative urged federal housing officials not to use eviction as a punishment, suggesting enforcement include education and smoking cessation options.

The smoking ban will not apply to chewing tobacco or electronic cigarettes. Public housing agencies can also choose to ban e-cigarettes.

The city initially rolled out a policy in July 2015 that prohibited residents from smoking inside the units.

The rule will be part of residents' leases - along with information about how to quit smoking - and tenants who break it could be evicted, HUD has said.

NYCHA said the goal is to "not terminate tenancy but to provide information and expand access to resources should residents want to quit smoking".

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