U.S. Will Ban Smoking in Public Housing Nationwide

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U.S. Will Ban Smoking in Public Housing Nationwide

Postby Wilberforce » Sat Dec 03, 2016 5:53 pm

U.S. Will Ban Smoking in Public Housing Nationwide
By MIREYA NAVARRONOV. 30, 2016

Smoking will be prohibited in public housing residences nationwide under a federal rule announced on Wednesday.

Officials with the Department of Housing and Urban Development said that the rule would take effect early next year, but that public housing agencies would have a year and a half to put smoke-free policies in place. The rule will affect more than 1.2 million households, the officials said, although some 200,000 homes already come under smoking bans adopted voluntarily by hundreds of public housing agencies around the country.

The nationwide ban will have its greatest impact in New York, where the New York City Housing Authority — whose 178,000 apartments and more than 400,000 residents make it the largest public housing agency in the United States, has lagged behind many of its counterparts in adopting smoke-free policies. While HUD proposed the sweeping prohibition a year ago, it had been prodding public housing authorities to adopt such policies since 2009.

The New York agency, which had asked HUD unsuccessfully for three years to phase in a ban, issued a statement on Wednesday saying it was “fully committed to providing an environment that promotes resident health as part of our vision of safe, clean and connected communities.”

Anti-smoking advocates consider smoke-free housing the latest major front in the long-running campaign to curb exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke. The rule covering public housing forbids cigarettes, cigars, pipes and hookahs (or water pipes) — but not electronic cigarettes — from being smoked in all living units, indoor common areas, administrative offices and all outdoor areas within 25 feet of housing and office buildings.

Housing agencies that already ban smoking said they enforced their policies through warnings and fines coupled with education, including counseling and smoking-cessation aids like nicotine patches.

“The last thing that we want are evictions,” Julián Castro, the HUD secretary, said during a call with reporters.

“We don’t see this as a policy that is meant to end in a whole lot of evictions,” Mr. Castro said. “We’re confident that public-housing authority staff can work with residents so that that can be avoided.”

Health officials said that a significant amount of smoke could be transferred between apartments and that alternatives, such as improving ventilation, did not eliminate the ills of secondhand smoke, including causing or aggravating conditions like asthma and lung cancer. Children are especially vulnerable; 760,000 of them live in public housing.

Housing officials said that although the federal government would not help to pay for enforcement, the public housing authorities stood to save money in averted fire losses and reduced costs for painting and cleaning smoke-damaged units.

The final rule followed a period of public comment during which some opponents took exception to the government’s telling people what to do in the privacy of their own homes.

In New York, there was also concern about whether police officers would be involved in enforcing the rule; that will not be the case, Housing Authority officials said.

Smoking is already prohibited in the lobbies and hallways of the city’s public housing buildings.

In answer to a question, Mr. Castro said he was confident that the incoming Trump administration would not have a problem with the ban because “the public health benefit to this policy is so tremendous, and the residents’ support for going smoke-free is so tremendous out there, that this rule will stick.”

“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.”

source
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/30/nyreg ... .html?_r=0
• The Surgeon General has determined that there is no safe level of exposure to ambient smoke!

• If you smell even a subtle odor of smoke, you are being exposed to poisonous and carcinogenic chemical compounds!

• Even a brief exposure to smoke raises blood pressure, (no matter what your state of health) and can cause blood clotting, stroke, or heart attack in vulnerable people. Even children experience elevated blood pressure when exposed to smoke!

• Since smoke drastically weakens the lungs' immune system, avoiding smoke is one of the best ways to prevent colds, flu, bronchitis, or risk of an even more serious respiratory illness, such as pneumonia or tuberculosis! Does your child have the flu? Chances are they have been exposed to ambient smoke!
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