A public housing smoking ban is in the works by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, who is looking to move forward with this smoking ban after issuing a proposal on Thursday. The proposal acknowledged that implementing such a ban for people who live in public housing would cost about $200 million.
According to Fox News on November 13, the Department of Housing and Urban Development plans to go through with this proposal despite consequences to the poor. The department acknowledges that banning smoking in public housing could get the poor and disabled smokers evicted.
There are two polarized sides to this proposal starting with this ban basically penalizing smokers and non smokers alike who live in public housing. Telling people what they can and cannot do in the privacy of their own homes when it comes to a legal activity doesn’t seem quite fair.
According to The New York Times, this move would affect nearly one million households nationwide. A smoking ban for those in public housing would “open the latest front in the long-running campaign to curb unwanted exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke,” said the Times.
Smoking is a disgusting habit and it can harm you and those around you. So if the walls are so thin in the public housing settings, maybe the $200 million could be better spent giving the folks barriers of thicker walls in their units.
This way what they do in their own home won’t be shared through the air with their neighbors. This would include cooking odors, candle scents and even cat litter box smells which tend to permeate the surrounding units in some of the more flimsy buildings erected for public housing.
Telling people that they cannot smoke in the place they call home seems wrong and makes one wonder what will come next? Again smoking is a bad habit, but it is a legal choice. What’s next banning alcohol from public housing units? Why would the government think they have the right to tell people how to live inside their own four walls?
Sure it’s public housing, but are you going to punish the people who live in these units? Yes, we will give you public housing, but by doing so you are giving up your right to privacy in your own home? A notice published in the Federal Register read:
“This proposed rule would require each public housing agency (PHA) administering public housing to implement a smoke-free policy.
Specifically, this rule proposes that no later than 18 months from the effective date of the final rule, each PHA must implement a policy prohibiting lit tobacco products in all living units, indoor common areas in public housing, and in PHA administrative office buildings (in brief, a smoke-free policy for all public housing indoor areas).”
“The smoke-free policy must also extend to all outdoor areas up to 25 feet from the housing and administrative office buildings,” it said.
The smoking ban would apply to all lit cigarettes, pipes, and cigars in indoor areas “including but not limited to living units, indoor common areas, electrical closets, storage units, and PHA administrative office buildings and in all outdoor areas within 25 feet of the housing and administrative office buildings.”
This proposal didn’t include electronic cigarettes, but the agency is seeking comment on whether to include them in the final regulation. The regulators said:
“The absence of a prohibition on the use of e-cigarettes in this rule should not be read as an endorsement of e-cigarettes as an acceptable health alternative to cigarettes.”