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Smoking in public housing will soon be prohibited



They will still be able to rent in the communities, but they will have to keep cigarettes, cigars and pipes at least 25 feet away from the buildings. Electronic cigarettes will still be allowed.
The policy was announced two years ago by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, but the agency gave the more than 3,300 local public housing authorities nearly two years to begin the application.
The rule will be part of residents' leases, along with information on how to stop smoking, and tenants who want it may be evicted, according to HUD. But the eviction after a single violation "is not grounds for eviction" and smoking in public places is a civil violation, not a crime, the agency said in establishing guidelines for local enforcement.

The federal ban will save public agencies estimated $ 153 million each year in costs related to medical care due to secondhand smoke, as well as repairs and losses from preventable fires, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention .

The ban will affect more than 940,000 public housing units in the country, according to HUD. Through the agency's voluntary policy and local initiatives, more than 228,000 public housing units were already smoke-free in 2016.

In addition to promoting the benefits of not smoking, HUD expects that the new rule will also "create environments healthy foods that encourage people "to smoke to stop smoking or try to reduce it", says the agency.

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