HUD Nationwide Smoking Ban Goes In Effect Tuesday

Smokers won't be able to light up in or near public housing starting July 31

Smokers won't be able to light up in or near public housing starting July 31

In November 2016, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced a rule requiring all federally-owned public housing to become smokefree by July 30, 2018.

"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 policy only applies to all lit tobacco products and does not include e-cigarettes. Rhonda White, vice president of the Van Dyke Resident Association, speaking in a promotional video, said 25 feet from her building is "basically in the middle of the street".

Residents of public housing across the US have filed lawsuits fighting the ban, claiming the ban is arbitrary and is an abuse of HUD's discretion.

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

The smoking ban goes beyond the inside of apartment units. The ban is expected to save government housing agencies $153 million a year in repairs and health care costs, including $16 million for costs tied to smoking-related fires, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated in 2014.

"We applaud HUD for also including waterpipe/hookah tobacco in its smoke-free policy", the group said in a statement.

It excludes residents living in homes under the Housing Choice Voucher Program, formerly known as Section 8.

Stevens Point Housing Authority Executive Director Donna Bella can't help but think of the special circumstances in Wisconsin as this rule takes effect across the country. "So for us it wasn't a new policy, it was expanding to our other properties".

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