Smoking ban takes effect in HUD public housing

The rule prohibits the use of tobacco products in public housing living units indoor common areas in administrative office buildings all outdoor areas up to 25 feet from the public housing and administrative office buildings

- To enforce a new U.S. Housing and Urban Development rule that bans smoking in public housing, the New York City Housing Authority announced its comprehensive smoke-free policy. Jim Alpi, the executive director of the city's housing authority, said they've had to come up a policy for more than 400 homes.

People who smoke are still allowed to rent units, but as part of the policy, no smoking will be allowed inside any public housing buildings or within 25 feet of those buildings.

Residents of public housing across the US have filed lawsuits fighting the ban, claiming the ban is arbitrary and is an abuse of HUD's discretion.

According to Nika Edwards, spokeswoman for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the three main reasons behind the ban are health, safety, and cost.

"I'm an adult and I feel like I am being treated like a child when you tell me I can't smoke if I choose to smoke", West said.

People who don't follow the rules could possibly be evicted. The ban does not apply to e-cigarettes, snuff and chewing tobacco, although there may be restrictions on those in some areas. This, after a number of homes caught on fire because of indoor smoking. Through the agency's voluntary policy and local initiatives, more than 228,000 public housing units were already smoke-free in 2016.

ACS said their statistics showcased the state seeing a 20.5 percent decrease from hospitalization after "smoke-free Illinois" was adopted.

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