Smokefree Public Housing Policy Going Into Effect Tuesday

NYC public housing buildings are now smoke-free

NYC public housing buildings are now smoke-free

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

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) found that about one-third of multi-unit housing residents reported experiencing secondhand smoke that involuntarily entered their home from other areas on their building. Each agency may also choose to ban electronic or e-cigarettes.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) now prohibits the use of cigarettes, cigars and pipes in all public housing units and common areas, as well as any outdoor areas up to 25 feet from public housing and administrative office buildings.

"Eliminating smoking indoors and close to the building is the only way to fully protect people from secondhand smoke".

HUD said its smoke-free rule would reduce damage and maintenance costs associated with smoking, saving the agency an estimated $153 million in repairs and preventable fires.

According to the release, smoking in any area where it is not allowed will be treated as a "lease violation". Under HUD rules, tenants can be evicted after three smoking violations. WATCH an excerpt from Monday's rollout presentation NYCHA says it's meeting a federal deadline that requires all public housing nationwide to go smoke-free by this week. New Yorkers can lose their apartment if they violate the smoking ban.

The policy was announced two years ago by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, but the agency gave the nation's more than 3,300 local public housing authorities almost two years to begin enforcement.

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