It aims to create healthier communities and less second-hand smoke for children.
The National Housing and Urban Development (HUD) have issued a new ruling that smoking tobacco will be banned in all public housing in the U.S. meaning cigarette, cigar and pipe smokers will have to find a new spot to light up.
The move comes after governments urged to create healthy spaces for all people especially children who shouldn’t be subjected to harmful tobacco smoke in public common areas.
The policy will prohibit lighting up in all public housing, living units and indoor common areas and even outside from 25 feet of public housing and offices.
“Every child deserves to grow up in a safe, healthy home free from harmful second-hand cigarette smoke,” said HUD Secretary Julián Castro, in a press release. 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.”
The ban is set to be enforced on Jan 1. 2017 meaning people will no longer be able to light up in their homes or communal areas such as porches affecting 900,000 housing units across the country initially. The HUD plan to help those transitioning to a more smoke-free lifestyle by offering free nicotine patches and classes aimed to help quite smoking altogether.
The move is being seen as a positive move but many people are outraged that they will no longer be able to smoke on their own property. People are even being encouraged to report any offending smokers. However, the health of the communities across the country is the main focus.
“My office has long warned the public about the dangers of smoking, including second-hand smoke,” said U.S. Surgeon General Vivek H. Murthy. “For children who are exposed to second-hand smoke, it can mean everything from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and ear infections to asthma. Protecting our children and families from the devastation caused by secondhand smoke must be a priority for all sectors of our society, including public housing.”