The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) recently issued a new regulation requiring all federally-funded public housing to be smoke-free by July 30, 2018. As a result, over 3,000 housing authorities across th country are taking steps to go smoke-free, including the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA).
To develop its smoke-free policy and ensure that it promotes the health and best interests of public housing residents and staff, NYCHA worked with an advisory committee made up of NYC residents and tobacco control advocates including NYC Smoke-Free.
Here are 5 things to know about NYCHA’s new smoke-free policy:
1. All federally-funded public housing must be smoke-free by July 30, 2018. This means the use of cigarettes, cigars, pipes, and hookah pipes will all be prohibited.
2. Smoking will not be allowed in apartments, indoor common areas, or within 25 feet of public housing buildings. Eliminating smoking indoors and close to buildings is the best way to protect people from secondhand smoke.
3. Smoke-free provisions will be included in all public housing leases. NYCHA will issue lease addendums to reflect this new policy, and will also work to promote employee adherence.
4. Violations will be addressed with a graduated enforcement process. This will involve escalated warnings, progressive enforcement remedies, and providing educational resources for residents.
5. Smoke-free public housing benefits everyone. This new policy will enhance indoor air quality, improve the health of residents and staff, reduce the risk of fires, and lower overall maintenance costs of public housing facilities.
HUD’s new smoke-free rule is the latest effort to combat the deadly impact of smoking and secondhand smoke. Children and seniors – who make up nearly half of all NYCHA residents – are most impacted by secondhand smoke, which can trigger asthma attacks and lead to stroke, heart attack, cancer, and respiratory illness.
Need help quitting? Visit: http://nycsmokefree.org/quitting
Learn more about NYCHA’s smoke-free policy: http://www1.nyc.gov/site/nycha/residents/smoke-free.page