Public housing in states including OH to go smoke

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Smokers won't be able to light up in or near public housing starting July 31.

The ban on smoking products must be included in public housing tenants' leases, HUD says.

The ban, implemented by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) states that lit cigarettes, cigars, and pipes can only be smoked at least 25 feet away from public housing units - but federally, electronic cigarettes will still be permitted. New Yorkers can lose their apartment if they violate the smoking ban. It doesn't apply to e-cigarettes and chewing tobacco.

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The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development officially banned smoking on February 3, 2017 and provided an 18-month implementation period for all public housing authorities.

HUD says about 228,000 public housing units under more than 600 local agencies were already smoke-free, and the new rule wipes out smoking in more than 940,000 other units.

"We explained the process to them and we have given them the opportunity to weigh in on it", he said, adding it was in their annual plan.

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Tenants who break the rules under the new smoking ban, risk being evicted after three violations.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also estimated in 2014 that the new ban is expected yield $153 million per year in savings for government housing agencies in health-care costs and repairs. HUD wants to reduce exposure to risky secondhand smoke, and encourage its tenants to drop the carcinogenic habit.

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