Smoking in Public Housing to Be Banned Nationwide at End of July

A nationwide ban on smoking is about to be implemented by July 31, and it will cover all public housing facilities all over the country. The prohibition comes some two years after the law for it was first passed in 2016.

Public houses across the country are about to become no smoking zones starting the end of this month, as the U.S. Housing and Urban Development effectively prohibits lighting up cigarettes, cigars and pipes in all public housing units and grounds, according to CBS News.

That means no smoking will be allowed indoors in all public housing facilities and common areas, outdoors in the immediate vicinity, and within 25 feet of the grounds surrounding the public houses.

As with most smoking bans, e-cigarettes are exempted. Snuff and chewing tobacco are likewise allowed unless some other restrictions prohibit them in certain areas.

While this new rule will be the first time for this administration that the HUD will put up a smoking ban nationwide in all public houses, a good number of them had already gone smoke-free. Some 228,000 public housing units have already banned smoking, and this new prohibition will do the same for the remaining 940,000 units or so.

One of the areas to be hard hit by the ban will be in New York, where the 178,000 apartments under the New York City Housing Authority has often lagged in banning smoking from their premises, as the New York Times noted.

The ban was passed under the Obama administration from back in November 2016, but the New York agency has requested the HUD for three years of time to gradually phase in the ban. With the prohibition becoming effective by July 31, the New York agency has little choice but to comply.

The NYC Housing Authority says it is "fully committed to providing an environment that promotes resident health as part of our vision of safe, clean and connected communities," in a statement on Wednesday, July 11.

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