Rule takes effect banning smoking in public housing

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An unidentified resident smokes outside the Manhattanville Houses in Harlem on Monday
Author

03 August, 2018

When the first state to enact a statewide smoking ban took place in California in1995, many states followed suit, however, there were no policies put in place for federal public housing units. This new policy will protect residents and staff of public housing units, many of whom are senior citizens, children, and people with disabilities, from the dangers of secondhand smoke.

She'll now have to walk farther to light up-at least 25 feet away from building entrances and not inside her apartment.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also estimated in 2014 that the new ban is expected yield $153 million per year in savings for government housing agencies in health-care costs and repairs. Through the agency's voluntary policy and local initiatives, more than 228,000 public housing units were already smoke-free in 2016.

The rule will be part of leases, and residents will be required to sign amendments agreeing to abide by the ban.

Edwards said the consequences of not following this new rule will be determined by each individual housing authority whether to evict, or not.

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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.

In Fort Worth, the ban will go into effect starting Wednesday, according to Fort Worth Housing Solutions president Mary-Margaret Lemons.

Researchers estimate the new policy will save roughly $154 million per year.

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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