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Philadelphia Goes Smokefree in Public Housing (The Inquirer, Michaelle Bond)

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Philadelphia’s Housing Authority, which oversees 36,000 public housing residents, has a new policy that will make its public housing buildings smokefree. The ban does not cover Section 8 housing residents, since those tenants.

Residents with leases at “existing” units who violate the smoking ban will first receive notices of violation that emphasize resources to help them quit smoking; there will be designated smoking areas. Residents in “new or substantially rehabilitated” units who sign leases on or after August 5, 2015 may be evicted after four violations.

More than 570 public housing authorities nationwide are smoke-free, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which encourages housing authorities to ban smoking and to promote healthy living environments for families. The article notes that residents comment that with a smokefree building they are able to breathe clean air on their porch, where previously they were not able to.

The Philadelphia housing authority will evaluate the effectiveness of enforcing this policy by tracking the number of violations and how many residents utilize the smoking-cessation resources over the first nine months.

Read the July 29, 2015 Philadelphia Inquirer story.