Medicine

Smoking ban to go in effect for public housing July 31

Smoking ban to go in effect for public housing July 31

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development made the ruling back of February of previous year and provided an 18-month implementation period.

As part of a national ban on all lit tobacco products - such as cigarettes, cigars, and pipes - it's now prohibited to smoke within 25 feet of public housing and their administrative office buildings.

Approximately 18 months ago, HUD's proposed smoke-free rule required the more than 3,100 public housing agencies nationwide to implement smoke-free policies in their developments by July 30, 2018. Electronic cigarettes will still be permitted. Through the agency's voluntary policy and local initiatives, more than 228,000 public housing units were already smoke-free in 2016.

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According to HUD, housing authorities will save up to $38 million a year in reduced maintenance and reduce the fire risk by $38 million.

"HUD's smoke-free rule is a reflection of our commitment to using housing as a platform to create healthy communities", Castro said in a news release. The new rule allows NYCHA staff and residents to report violations; enforcement will include an informal conversation to discuss the smoking ban along with the provision of educational materials.

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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