Smoking now banned in public housing

Public housing agencies had until Monday to meet a Housing and Urban Development, or HUD, rule which says agencies must have a smoke-free policy in place.

"In addition to protecting residents and employees from secondhand smoke, smoke-free policies create healthy environments that encourage people who smoke to quit or attempt to reduce smoking", the department continued. As such, it is now illegal to use cigarettes, electronic cigarettes, cigars, pipes, and hookahs within 25 feet of NYCHA buildings.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently conducted research that found most multi-unit housing residents had smoke-free homes, but almost one-third of those residents said cigarette smoke from other areas of the building often entered their apartments.

However, Greensboro's Housing Authority implemented its policy in May 2018, and the rules are stricter than the national policy - and residents and their visitors cannot smoke anywhere on the property.

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

The ban will affect more than 940,000 public housing units across the country, according to HUD. Public housing agencies can also choose to ban e-cigarettes.

NYCHA said the goal is to "not terminate tenancy but to provide information and expand access to resources should residents want to quit smoking". "I don't see how we're going to push that forward when there's so much other things happening in Brownsville".

"Smoking actually damages the units, whether it's the paint or the cabinets", he said.

  • Ismael Montgomery