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Wednesday, January 22, 2020

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New law now prohibits smoking in public housing

New law now prohibits smoking in public housing

On July 31, 2018, the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will begin implementing its smoke-free public housing rule across the nation, including Louisiana.

This means that people who live in public housing will no longer be allowed to smoke in their apartments, or on the grounds of their housing complex.

It is important to understand that HUD does not believe that these policies violate residents’ privacy rights and do not discriminate against residents who smoke.

After many years of consideration, HUD has finally decided to get serious about the hazards of second-hand smoke, especially for young children, and third-hand smoke which is the toxic nicotine residue and chemicals that stick to indoor surfaces like walls, carpeting and upholstery.

HUD hopes that their efforts will help save taxpayers money caused by the damage, cleaning, insurance and liability issues that are attached to allowing smoking to continue in public housing units for which HUD is responsible.

While smoking rates among U.S. adults and teens continue to drop, nearly a quarter (21.9%) of Louisiana’s residents continue to smoke, even though evidence clearly shows that smoking is not only bad for their physical health (lung cancer, cardiovascular disease, chromosome damage and more), but for their wallets, as well (average cost for a pack of cigarettes in Louisiana is $5.44 or $1,986 over a year).

The Smoking Cessation Trust strongly encourages all residents of Louisiana public housing to take this opportunity to quit smoking. While there are cessation programs other than the Smoking Cessation Trust available across our state, the Trust’s program is available only to help eligible, current Louisiana residents who smoked a cigarette prior to September 1, 1988.

Help is available at or by calling 504-529-5665 or toll free at: 1-855-259-6346.

Mike Rogers

CEO, Smoking Cessation Trust Management Services, Inc.

New Orleans, LA