Public housing in states including OH to go smoke

NYC public housing buildings are now smoke-free

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development officially banned smoking on February 3, 2017 and provided an 18-month implementation period for all public housing authorities. Officials say the new rule is to help stop people from being exposed to secondhand smoke. The ban does not apply to e-cigarettes, snuff and chewing tobacco, although there may be restrictions on those in some areas.

Several hundred thousand NYCHA residents are now barred from smoking in their apartments, hallways or even outside.

Starting Tuesday, all public housing facilities across the country must have a smoke-free policy in place.

The ban was passed under the Obama administration in November 2016.

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HUD spokesperson Brian Sullivan says not only is it a public health issue, but by banning all smoking HUD expects to produce a savings of $150 million annually.

"As long as they're smoking outside, I guess.as long as they're not in the house, or it's around their children", Pritchett said.

While tenants who break the rule could be evicted, smoking on public housing premises is a civil violation, not a crime, and one violation is "not grounds for eviction", the agency said. The initiative is meant to provide healthier homes to residents and healthier working environments for employees, according to an announcement from the New York City Housing Authority.

"We had to talk about the fact that this is a federally subsidized public property funded by tax dollars to a great extent", Lewis said. "There is not like good weather in the winter, so for them to have to go outside and smoke, that's a hard thing", said Bella.

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