Public housing agencies must have a smoke free policy in place

The Gompers Houses a NYCHA public housing development as seen from the Williamsburg Bridge

Smoking in public housing across the USA has been snuffed out. There's no smoking within 25 feet of a New York City Housing Authority building.

The new rule by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development includes a ban on smoking cigarettes, cigars and pipes. Officials say the new rule is to help stop people from being exposed to secondhand smoke.

It gave all public housing authorities until the end of this month, July 31, to come up with a smoke-free policy.

A woman who lives in Macon's Anthony Homes, says she doesn't smoke, but finds the ban unfair.

HUD announced the rule in November 2016.

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The city initially rolled out a policy in July 2015 that prohibited residents from smoking inside the units. "Then, there would probably be an issue if they get caught smoking cigarettes - then there's the fine, paying money, or being put out.but, to each his own".

The smoking ban will not apply to chewing tobacco or electronic cigarettes.

Residents of public housing across the USA have filed lawsuits fighting the ban, claiming the ban is arbitrary and is an abuse of HUD's discretion. Housing authorities, including Memphis, have said they have met with tenants and will work with people to kick the habit.

NYCHA said the goal is to "not terminate tenancy but to provide information and expand access to resources should residents want to quit smoking". To that effect, the encouragement will be underlined by stringent guidelines: Tenants could face eviction for violation of these rules - though first offenses will be forgiven.

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