Smoking no longer allowed in 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

They'll still be allowed to rent in the communities but will have to keep lit cigarettes, cigars and pipes at least 25 feet away from buildings.

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.

The smoking ban will not apply to chewing tobacco or electronic cigarettes. Tenants are still allowed to smoke on the premises, but only in certain areas.

The new nationwide HUD rule's goal is to provide healthier homes to public housing residents.

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The new rule will affect more than 940,000 public housing units across the country, according to HUD.

"As long as they're smoking outside, I guess.as long as they're not in the house, or it's around their children", Pritchett said.

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. Each housing agency can also create additional smoke-free areas if they choose. Public housing was an exception until Monday, when the New York City Housing Authority and the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene kicked off an initiative to improve air quality for those living and working in NYCHA apartments. Residents had 18 months to adhere to the new policy. It's a habit for them", she said, "so they can't just stop smoking cigarettes.

The American Lung Association said this will protect close to twomillion Americans from secondhand smoke exposure in their homes.

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