Smoking ban in all public housing takes effect nationwide

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

Under the terms of the ban, which was passed by the Obama administration in 2016, the use of cigarettes, cigars and pipes is prohibited in all government subsidized housing units. Each agency may also choose to ban electronic or e-cigarettes.

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The RRHA addendum states that the objective of the rule is to mitigate: the irritation and known health effects of lit tobacco products, increased maintenance costs from the effects of lit tobacco products, increased fire risks associated with smoking indoors, and the higher costs of fire insurance for a non-smoke-free building.

"Everyone deserves the opportunity to lead a healthy life, and ensuring homes are free from the risks of secondhand smoke is a critical step for the health of residents", said American Lung Association Health Promotion Specialist Julian Collins MS, CHES.

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According to the release, smoking in any area where it is not allowed will be treated as a "lease violation". Tenants will not be evicted for a single instance of smoking, but could face eviction after several smoking violations.

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

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HUD said the ban will help reduce damage and maintenance costs for public housing, as well cutting down on secondhand smoke. Not to mention, they estimate it will save public housing agencies $153 million in costs related to healthcare and repairs.

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