HUD implements nationwide smoking ban in public housing

HUD implements nationwide smoking ban in public housing
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The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) implemented a nationwide ban on smoking inside or near public housing facilities into effect on Tuesday.

Under the terms of the ban, which was passed by the Obama administration in 2016, the use of cigarettes, cigars and pipes is prohibited in all government subsidized housing units. Electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes, have not been banned but may be in the future. 

The ban also prohibits smoking in areas up to 25 feet away from public housing units and administrative office buildings, according to a brochure from the department

“Eliminating smoking indoors and close to buildings is the only way to fully protect people from secondhand smoke,” the department states in the release. 

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“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.

According to the release, smoking in any area where it is not allowed will be treated as a “lease violation.” Tenants could also face eviction after several smoking violations.

HUD notes that people "do not have to quit smoking" to live in government housing, but need to follow the new ban.

Prior to the ban’s enactment, roughly 228,000 public housing units were already smoke-free, CBS News reported. The new ban is expected to eliminate smoking in over 940,000 more units.

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.