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Lucas Ohio Housing Authority goes 100% smokefree as of May 1, 2015

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Lucas Metropolitan Housing Authority properties in Ohio will be smoke-free starting in May, the authority announced Wednesday.

The change was celebrated with a public event attended by housing and health officials, as well as public-housing residents.

“This initiative is to try to improve your quality of life,” said LMHA Executive Director Linnie Willis, speaking directly to LMHA clients.  Ms. Willis said the move is not meant to be punitive, but a move toward goals of overall wellness for residents, including the best air quality possible.

LMHA officials said it’s the only public housing organization in Ohio to make all of its buildings smoke-free. This is the second phase of the effort, dubbed the Great Smoke Out. The first phase, beginning in January, 2014, implemented a smoking ban at seven LMHA properties. Phase two extends the ban to all LMHA public housing units. The ban will not affect Section 8 units.

An addendum to lease agreements now prohibits smoking inside housing units. Residents will have access to smoking-cessation resources. Martin LaMar, deputy executive director for LMHA, said the authority will work with residents to come into compliance, including with cessation programs. Residents could face eviction for violating the rules, but it won’t be a one-strike policy.

There will be signage alerting residents and guests of the smoke-free status, as well as designated smoking areas away from the buildings. Smokers will now have to be at least 20 feet away from authority properties before lighting up.

Read more in the Toledo media outlet, The Blade.