HUD implements nationwide smoking ban in public housing

Ben Davidson
August 1, 2018

They are also not allowed to light up within 25 feet of public housing buildings.

Smokers residing in public housing won't be able to spark a cigarette in or near their premise starting July 31.

The rule prohibits the use of tobacco products in public housing living units, indoor common areas, and in administrative office buildings. Electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes, have not been banned but may be in the future.

"Eliminating smoking indoors and close to buildings is the only way to fully protect people from secondhand smoke", the department states in the release.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development said its smoke-free rule would reduce damage and maintenance costs associated with smoking

HUD says about 228,000 public housing units under more than 600 local agencies were already smoke-free, and the new rule wipes out smoking in more than 940,000 other units. Under HUD rules, tenants can be evicted after three smoking violations. New Yorkers can lose their apartment if they violate the smoking ban.

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.

"HUD believes that allowing a PHA (public housing agency) to enforce its smoke free policy through lease enforcement actions is the best way to ensure compliance with such policies", the rules read.

The federal ban will save public agencies an estimated $153 million every year in costs related to health care due to secondhand smoke, as well as repairs and losses from preventable fires, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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