Smoking ban takes effect in HUD public housing

Smoking ban takes effect in HUD public housing

The new smoking ban provides an extra level of protection.

The ban was first announced back in November 2016, but housing agencies had until July 31, 2018 to enact the ban. Multiple fires in central IL were caused by indoor smoking, like the fire at Concord Apartments that claimed the life of one man this year.

"So I kind of understand, especially when you have work orders and other people coming into the household who don't smoke and you are aware of how second-hand smoke does affect other people so I kind of agree with that but at the same time you are paying rent and you are taking away my own independence", said another resident. The Pennington County Housing and Redevelopment Association buildings have been smoking free since April 2017.

On Tuesday, smoking inside or out, is prohibited. The ban will not prohibit e-cigarettes, snuff, or chewing tobacco. But just one violation "is not grounds for eviction", and smoking on public housing premises is a civil violation, not a crime, the agency said in setting guidelines for local enforcement. This, after a number of homes caught on fire because of indoor smoking.

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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), HUD's national smoke-free policy will save public housing agencies $153 million every year in repairs and preventable fires, including $94 million in secondhand smoke-related health care, $43 million in renovation of smoking-permitted units, and $16 million in smoking-related fire losses.

ACS said their statistics showcased the state seeing a 20.5 percent decrease from hospitalization after "smoke-free Illinois" was adopted.

Connie West, who is a Salisbury resident said she has to stand in the street to smoke and it's an inconvenience.

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