The rule prohibits the use of tobacco products in public housing living units, indoor common areas, and in administrative office buildings.
The new rule is meant to cut down on secondhand smoke and the risk of smoking-related fires in residential buildings.
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.
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"Well how could they force people to not smoke in their own house and they pay the rent, that's supposed to be their home, you supposed to be able to do what you want to do in your home", said one NYCHA resident.
The policy was announced two years ago by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, but the agency gave the nation's more than 3,300 local public housing authorities almost two years to begin enforcement.
The city's public housing buildings are now smoke-free. Also, in accordance with HUD guidelines, all NYCHA families received notice of planned lease changes in January 2018 and a lease addendum in spring 2018. The new rule allows NYCHA staff and residents to report violations; enforcement will include an informal conversation to discuss the smoking ban along with the provision of educational materials. "So for us it wasn't a new policy, it was expanding to our other properties".