Health Care

Deadline arrives for smoke-free Public Housing Authorities

All residents had to sign an addendum to their lease saying they realize the properties are now smoke-free

The new rule went into effect Monday after it was first announced almost two years ago by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

They say this will help with health issues regarding second-hand smoking.

Tuesday is the deadline for public housing authorities to implement smoke-free policies. "So that means I pay rent here and I have to go out and stand in the middle of the street just to smoke a cigarette?"

Theoretically at least, NY has been a smokeless city for years now: Officials began a cigarette crackdown in the late 1980s, eventually banning smoking in restaurants and bars in 2002 and select outdoor spaces in 2011, including public parks, where enforcement is nearly non-existent.

"It (the rule) basically says you can smoke 25 feet away from one of the federal buildings and HUD homes", said Harold Ince, Jr., executive director of the Flint Housing Commission.

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

HUD's website dictated it doesn't only protect resident health, but the ban also reduces maintenance costs.

What do you think about the new ban, will residents comply or risk getting evicted? The ban will not prohibit e-cigarettes, snuff, or chewing tobacco.

MHA said it won't be going door to door acting as the smoke police, but if residents are seen smoking in their units or near them, they'll be talked to by management.

"Are they going to evict a single mother with two to three children because someone was smoking on their porch", questioned Gary Foster.