New York City Bans Smoking in Public Housing Apartments

The Gompers Houses a NYCHA public housing development as seen from the Williamsburg Bridge

The Gompers Houses a NYCHA public housing development as seen from the Williamsburg Bridge

HUD says all public housing associations must have a smoke-free policy in place by Tuesday, July 31.

HUD said the ban will help reduce damage and maintenance costs for public housing, as well cutting down on secondhand smoke. "And they could overcome this, so I want to work with them to make this as painless as it can be in a hard situation for those that are addicted to smoking", Mayeaux said.

Smokers now have to light up at least 25 feet from a building.

Thousands of public housing tenants are being forced to put their cigarettes out starting Monday. Each housing agency can also create additional smoke-free areas if they choose.

There's a new ban that's got a lot of people talking.

Connie West, who is a Salisbury resident said she has to stand in the street to smoke and it's an inconvenience.

The Housing and Urban Development website's guide for local housing authorities includes strict procedures. Electronic or e-cigarettes are included in the ban.

"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.

"We've brought in some community members who are going to offer cessation classes for them and give them some support", Mayeaux said.

Prohibiting smoking in public housing facilities is expected to save an estimated $497 million per year in health care and housing-related costs.

"I think this will be one of the hardest rules to follow", Perry Rumnit, Jr., a NYCHA resident, says in a promotional video for the policy.

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