Smoking will no longer be a public health concern as the National Housing and Urban Development will ban the use of pipes, cigars cigarettes, and any other tobacco products in public housing throughout the country.
Every public housing agency (PHA) will be required to implement the smoke-free regulation if that agency administers public housing units. Thanks to this policy, tobacco products will be prohibited in office buildings, common indoor areas, and every living unit.
In addition to this, consumers are not allowed to use tobacco products 25 feet around public housing and any administrative office buildings. According to Juliá Castro, the HUD Secretary, children should grow up in a healthy and safe environment free from the dangerous cigarette smoke.
Second-hand smoking is a widely-spread issue in the United States and worldwide, especially because non-smokers are more likely to develop lung cancer. The lungs face the highest exposure to the tobacco smoke which contains at least 61 known carcinogens.
Castro adds that this new policy is a symbol of the agency’s commitment to making the local communities healthier. She also said that the regulation would represent a reliable asset in reducing the number of costly and deadly house fires caused by smoking.
Based on the latest reports, the policy will become effective in maximum 18 months. The public health officials estimate that public housing agencies will save up to $153 million in preventable fires and repairs each year thanks to this smoke-free regulation.
In addition to this, these agencies will save $94 million in health care costs caused by second-hand smoking, $43 million which are invested every year in the renovation of the units that permit smoking, and other $16 million in losses caused by smoking-related fires.
The HUD officials explain that this new regulation doesn’t just reduce many costs, but it also saves the lives of countless residents exposed to second-hand smoking and fires. According to the statistics, smoking is related to roughly 100,000 fires every year in the United States.
Unfortunately, more than 500 people die in these fires, and approximatively $500 million are spent for the renovation of these properties. Moreover, CDC officials underline that around 480,000 people die each year due to health conditions caused by smoking.
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