U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has just enacted a new regulation that bans smoking in certain places.
Bad news for smokers, as the federal government just enacted a new, sweeping ban of smoking nationwide. U.S. Housing and Urban Development will now require public housing developments to be smoke-free, and will help 3,100 public housing agencies implement those policies over the next 18 months.
That means no tobacco products at all, whether they be cigarettes, cigars, or pipes, in any units or common areas under HUD jurisdiction, or within 25 feet of housing and administrative buildings, according to an announcement from HUD.
The decision was based on comments from administrators, tenant advocates and other interested parties. HUD started encouraging administrators to adopt smoke-free policies back in 2009, but now the agency is making it mandatory.
In addition to being a health issue, it’s also a safety issue, as cigarettes cause preventable fires in homes, which cost about $16 million per year.
“Every child deserves to grow up in a safe, healthy home free from harmful second-hand cigarette smoke,” said HUD Secretary Julián Castro. “HUD’s smoke-free rule is a reflection of our commitment to using housing as a platform to create healthy communities. By working collaboratively with public housing agencies, HUD’s rule will create healthier homes for all of our families and prevent devastating and costly smoking-related fires.”
“My office has long warned the public about the dangers of smoking, including second-hand smoke,” said U.S. Surgeon General Vivek H. Murthy. “For children who are exposed to second-hand smoke, it can mean everything from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and ear infections to asthma. Protecting our children and families from the devastation caused by secondhand smoke must be a priority for all sectors of our society, including public housing.”