A new Federal Law has officially banned smoking in public housing as starting with January 1st, 2017, the federal policy will seek to ensure smoke-free housing spaces.
The smoking ban was enacted by the Federal Government of the United States and will be implemented at a nation-wide level.
Following its January 1st, 2017 application, the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development will have new public housing requirements.
As such, the residents of such spaces will be banned from smoking either inside the housing or on the porch, if the residence has such a utility.
A number of 3100 agencies ensuring public housing will have to carry out and ensure the application of the new law over the next 18 months time period.
The ban was officially approved last week by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development or the HUD.
It is estimated that the smoke-free rule will include a number of 900,000 housing units spread throughout the country.
The ban will seek to prevent smoking in public housing units, which include both the private and public areas. As such, smoking will also be banned in common indoor areas and the housing’s administrative offices.
The outdoor areas of the housing have also been targeted by the rule as smoking is prohibited in such outdoor areas that are within a 25 feet distance from the residence.
As the HUD has been encouraging smoking-free zones in public housing since 2009, this is the first time it has transitioned it to a mandatory rule.
The Department hopes that the residents will follow and respect the new rule, and has also offered its support in helping those who wish to quit.
As such, the HUD will be willing to offer the residents willing to quit smoking either nicotine patches, to help them in their transition, or free classes.
Those that wish to continue with their smoking habits will most likely have to do so on the nearest public road. In general, they will have to do so at an appropriate distance away from the outdoor public housing areas.
Whilst HUD announced that it will not be carrying out controls so as to make sure the rule is respected, that does not mean that they won’t be monitoring it.
The department announced that it will be keeping in contact with maintenance workers so as to determine the ban’s applicability.
Whilst it is expecting that residents will comply with the ban, the HUD is also encouraging local communities to announce if they have prohibited area smokers.
Julian Castro, the Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary, has explained the reasons for this not so popular new ban.
According to Castro, the department is seeking to ensure its residents’ healthier living. Whilst making their decision, he stated to have also taken into consideration the effects of second-hand cigarette smoke.
The measure was reportedly taken so as to ensure both the public health and in order to help prevent public housing fires.
As reports show that tobacco-smoking is amongst the leading preventable causes of death in American residents, second-hand smoking is believed to also affect children.
Besides ensuring their safety, the HUD also expressed the financial consequences of its non-smoking rule as it would come to reduce tobacco-related costs.
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