Across the nation there are fewer and fewer places where people can light up. And now, smoking in public housing is about to be snuffed out completely.
This ban was actually passed two years ago, but in less than two weeks, the new rule will officially take effect nationwide, wiping out smoking in more than 900-thousand public housing units.
Starting July 31st, lighting up at home won’t be easy. U.S. Housing and Urban Development is enforcing a new rule across the nation, banning the use of cigarettes, cigars and pipes in public housing.
“The purpose, of course, is to not have people smoke in the buildings. Common areas have been no-smoking for some time, but this will now effect their apartments,” said Randall L. Geese, Director of the Wheeling Housing Authority.
In facts, tenants won’t even be allowed to smoke within 25-feet of the property.
But how do people feel about this new rule?
“I think if the landlord says no, then you should just walk the extra feet to smoke your cigarettes. It’s not a big deal,” said Susan, a Belmont County resident.
“Since public housing is not really your own, it should be up to the owners. Plus, as far as health reasons go, most people don’t like to have that second-hand smoke smell around,” said Deanna Ellafrits, also of Belmont County.
This is not only a health initiative to get people to quit, it will also help with maintenance costs.
“Yeah, it’s a health issue, but HUD is also looking at it as a maintenance issue. When families or tenants move out, if they’re not smokers, it’s a lot easier to touch up paint and that type of stuff. With heavy smokers, you have a lot of problems with residue on the walls, furniture and stuff,” Geese said.
The rule does NOT apply to e-cigarettes or chewing tobacco, but there could be restrictions depending on your location.
Under the new rule, tenants will be evicted after three warnings.