Smoking now banned in public housing

Smokers won't be able to light up in or near public housing starting July 31

This is complying with a new rule by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The ban prohibits the use of all cigarettes, cigars and pipes, vapes and e-cigs in all units and outdoor areas within 25 feet of the facility.

HUD announced in November 2016 that all federally-owned public housing must be smokefree by July 30, 2018.

The American Lung Association estimated the new rule will protect 2 million people - including 690,000 children - nationwide from secondhand smoke.

Several hundred thousand NYCHA residents are now barred from smoking in their apartments, hallways or even outside.

Thousands of public housing tenants are being forced to put their cigarettes out starting Monday.

Prior to the ban's enactment, roughly 228,000 public housing units were already smoke-free, CBS News reported.

According to a Center for Disease Control 2014 study, the no-smoking policy will save about $497 million a year in healthcare and housing-related costs.

Because the rule is a part of tenant's leases, residents of Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority communities must sign a lease addendum between July 20 and July 30.

NYCHA's goal is to not terminate tenancy but to provide information and expand access to resources should residents want to quit smoking.

"I don't agree with it because we rent our own units, and we're not allowed to smoke in the units; we're not allowed to smoke on our balconies", Minor said.

Montgomery said smoke can travel through vents and other openings in apartment-style public housing and could impact the health of other residents.

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