12 | 05 | 2016

NYCHA to Go Smoke-Free!

NYC Smoke-Free Applauds Landmark HUD Action to Protect NYCHA Families From Tobacco Pollution

NYCHA to Go Smoke-Free!

By August 2018, more than 400,000 New Yorkers who depend on public housing from the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) will receive protection from harmful secondhand smoke pollution in their homes thanks to a new U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) policy announced on November 30th.

Proposed last November 2015 by HUD Secretary Julián Castro with Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy, the final rule will provide smoke-free protections for families residing in public housing developments by requiring the nation’s more than 3,100 public housing agencies to implement a policy prohibiting lit tobacco products (cigarettes, cigars or pipes) in all living units, indoor common areas, administrative offices and all outdoor areas within 25 feet of housing and administrative office buildings.

"Every child deserves to grow up in a safe, healthy home free from harmful secondhand cigarette smoke," said Secretary 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."

HUD's final smoke-free public housing rule included input from more than 1,000 comments from public housing authorities, housing and health partners, and tenant advocates, including NYC Smoke-Free at Public Health Solutions.

Earlier this year, at HUD's invitation, NYC Smoke-Free director Patrick Kwan and deputy director Deidre Sully traveled to Washington, D.C. in January to join Secretary Castro and the Surgeon General at the White House Convening on Smoke-Free Housing to discuss the urgent need for smoke-free affordable and public housing as well as share NYC Smoke-Free’s experience in implementing smoke-free housing protections.

In more than a dozen media outlets – in English, Spanish, Chinese, and Russian; the four most common languages of NYCHA residents – NYC Smoke-Free applauded HUD’s smoke-free rule and emphasized the need for all New Yorkers to be able to live free from tobacco pollution in their homes. The media coverage reached a total audience of over 2 million New Yorkers.  

“For far too long people who depend on public housing, people who are in NYCHA, people who are in affordable housing are more likely to report smelling secondhand smoke in their homes,” Kwan told CBS New York. “People should not be exposed to dangerous secondhand smoke when they’re at restaurants, when they’re at their work places, and this landmark public health effort is to make sure that it’ll also will not be happening inside people’s apartments.”

NYC Smoke-Free will be assisting NYCHA in the implementation of HUD's smoke-free policy.

Media Highlights

WNYW-TV (FOX) - New federal rule bans smoking in public housing

CBS New York – New Rule Bans Smoking in Public Housing Nationwide
WABC-TV – Federal smoking ban approved for public housing nationwide, including NYC
NY1 News – New Federal Rule Prohibits Smoking in Public Housing
NY1 The Call – NYCHA smoke-free housing
WNBC-TV – Smoking Ban to be Enacted in New York City, Nationwide Public Housing Developments
Gothamist – Feds to Ban Smoking in Public Housing Nationwide
Metro New York - Smoking ban in all New York and US public housing set to begin
DNAinfo – Smoking Ban Approved in New York Public Housing and Nationwide
Queens Chronicle - NYCHA Welcomes HUD Smoking Ban
Queens Tribune - Public Housing Receives Smoking Ban
El Diario (Spanish)– NYCHA aplaude prohibición de fumar en complejos de vivienda pública
World Journal (Chinese)- Public Housing Smoking Ban Impacts 400,000 People
USA.ONE (Russian)- Smoking Ban in NYCHA Public Housing