Smoking in Public Housing Nationwide Will Be Banned in the U.S.
The U.S. federal rule of banning smoking in public housing residences nationwide was announced on Wednesday.
The new federal rule will be implemented by early next year and the concerned public housing agencies were given a year and a half to share awareness of the smoke-free policies as advised by the Dept of Housing and Urban Development officials.
According to New York Times, there are 1.2 million households subject for the implementation of the rule, 200,000 of them had already adopted voluntarily under public housing agencies in the United States.
New York City which has 178,000 apartments and 400,000 residents under New York City Housing Authority is the largest public housing agency in the country will be most affected by the rule. Since before when most States had adhered with smoking prohibition in the households New York was left lagged. Public housing agencies feared potential growth of resistant from residents who will lose freedom to do what they want inside their premises.
The New York agency said in a statement on Wednesday that it was "fully committed to providing an environment that promotes resident health as part of our vision of safe, clean and connected communities." This was issued despite three years of failed talk with the HUD.
Included in such prohibition are cigarettes, cigars, pipes, and water pipes except electronic cigarettes to be smoked within living units, indoor common areas, administrative offices and all outdoor areas 25 feet covered by housing and office buildings.
Strategies executed by housing agencies that already ban smoking include counseling and smoking-cessation aids, warnings and fines reinforced with smoking education.
Julian Castro, the HUD secretary, said that the last thing they want are evictions. But he added that in order to avoid that public-housing authority staff and residents should work hand in hand.
According to health officials, children are especially vulnerable with second-hand smoke as it transferred from one apartment to another. Moreover, alternatives such as improved ventilations did not eliminate the ills of secondhand smoke that could aggravate conditions like asthma and lung cancers, as Boston Globe reported.
It was also said by the housing officials that even without the help of the federal government to pay for enforcement, the strict implementation of the rule could save money for painting and cleaning costs due to smoke stain and fire losses due to smoke-related fires.
Mr. Castro is confident that Trump administration would not be a problem with the rule.
"Public housing will go smoke-free and remain smoke-free, and, because of that," he said, "so many folks are going to live healthier lives and have a better shot at reaching their dreams because they have good health."