In an effort to reduce the health threats posed by second-hand smoke to both children and adults, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) ruled in 2016 that public housing agencies (PHA) must implement a smoke-free policy by July 31, 2018. Those who smoke prohibited tobacco items, as defined by HUD, must do so at least 25 feet away from public housing and administrative office buildings. Residents can no longer smoke inside public housing dwelling units or interior common areas.
This rule applies to low-income housing assisted under the U.S. Housing Act of 1937 (the 1937 Act), which includes community facilities, public housing offices, day care centers, and laundry rooms. This rule does not apply to facilities assisted by Section 8.
While the new rule prohibits cigarettes, cigars, pipes, and water-pipes (commonly referred to as “hookah”), it does not apply to e-cigarettes (commonly referred to as “vapes”). The new rule does allow for the flexibility of individual PHAs to prohibit e-cigs, limit smoking to designated areas, or require the entire campus to be smoke-free.
There are many free resources to help you or a loved one quit tobacco use:
- Call the Tennessee Tobacco Quitline at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669).
- Sign-up for SmokefreeTXT online or text START, CRAVE, MOOD, or SLIP to 47848.
- Download the QuitGuide app for your smartphone.