New Federal Rule Prohibits Smoking in Public Housing

Around 400,000 NYCHA residents will soon be banned from smoking in their homes.

The Obama administration announced a new federal rule prohibiting smoking in all public housing apartments, indoor common areas, offices and anywhere within 25 feet of housing and work buildings. 

Officials say this will impact nearly 1 million public housing developments across the country.

Anti-smoking advocates welcomed the ban, but some NYCHA tenants had mixed feelings.

"This landmark public health action will make sure the families who are in NYCHA who are having to endure secondhand smoke will no longer have to do so," said Patrick Kwan, director of NYC Smoke Free.

"I understand that people wind up, you can smell other people's smoke throughout the building, and that's what's the problem. But it's getting to the point where anybody who smokes period is going to be subjected to this ban, and it's not fair," said one NYCHA tenant.

NYCHA says it has already taken steps to reduce smoking in their buildings and that they will work with residents to create a smoke-free policy. 

Public housing agencies will have 18 months to implement the ban.

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