NYCHA developments set to become smoke-free Monday


You will have to find another place to light up if you live in public housing.

More than 600 public housing agencies have already gone smoke-free, but Sullivan says this policy will require the remaining 940,000 units nation-wide to join them.

"In addition to protecting residents and employees from secondhand smoke, smoke-free policies create healthy environments that encourage people who smoke to quit or attempt to reduce smoking", the department continued.

All lit tobacco products, including cigarettes, cigars, and pipes in all public housing living units, common areas, and offices are banned under the rule.

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She says it can linger in rooms and travel between homes in multi-unit housing. In addition to reducing the risk of fires and lowering maintenance costs, HUD said the ban on smoking would drastically improve indoor air quality in public housing spaces. Electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes, have not been banned but may be in the future.

Work began on the smoking ban in late 2015 when HUD began drafting the rule. "They have more things to fix than telling somebody they can't smoke", Robinson said.

NYCHA's goal is to not terminate tenancy but to provide information and expand access to resources should residents want to quit smoking. The Pennington County Housing and Redevelopment Association buildings have been smoking free since April 2017. But eviction after just one violation "is not grounds for eviction", and smoking on public housing premises is a civil violation, not a crime, the agency said in setting guidelines for local enforcement.