Smoking Bans To Begin In Public Housing

Smoking Bans To Go Into Effect In New Year

With the new year comes new rules. In fact it may be a good time to try and quit smoking now if you live in public housing.

On Sunday a new federal rule went into effect in an effort to make public housing a smoke free place.

With this new federal rule, housing authorities will be able to choose how to enforce the rule. For the Tampa House Authority a ‘three strikes and you’e out rule’ will be implemented.

Residents of the Robles Village Park in Tampa recently talked to WFTS news about their preparation for the change.

“I think it’s ridiculous,” said Ramon Thomas to WFTS, who smokes about a half a pack per day.

“Now they say we can’t smoke cigarettes on our own porch? It’s crazy,” Thomas said further to WFTS.

The ban was approved by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. It stretches nationwide.

Federal officials believe this ban will protect non-smokers from second-hand smoke, which includes vulnerable kids.

The ban’s other benefit is that officials estimate it will eliminate 16 million dollars a year in smoking-related fires. On the other hand residents in public housing feel quite different about the ban.

“There’s going to be some problems,” said Shelia Williams to WFTS. Williams has lived at the park for five years and is trying to quit smoking.

While trying to quit smoking, Williams has a problem with the way officials went about this rule. Making sudden changes instead of allowing current residents a chance to be grandfathered in is a problem to Williams.

“What are they going to just walk up to someone and snatch it out of their mouths?” She said to WFTS.

Reva Iman is another resident who has a problem with the ban. Residents are passing around a petition to get the rule reversed and Iman plans to deliver those signatures to the board later this month.

“When you’re paying your bills, and you’re abiding by most of the rules here on this property, how can you tell someone you can’t smoke in your units?” said Iman to WFTS.

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News Talk Florida Staff