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Smoke Free Public Housing and Everything You Need To Know

On December 5, 2016, HUD published a final rule requiring all Public Housing Agencies (PHAs) administering low-income, conventional public housing to initiate a smoke-free policy. The Rule becomes effective on February 3, 2017 with an 18-month implementation period. Currently, more than 600 PHAs and Tribally Designated Housing Entities (TDHEs) have already voluntarily adopted smoke-free policies, resulting in 228,000 public housing units that are smoke free. Once the Rule has been implemented, another 940,000 public housing units, including more than 500,000 units inhabited by elderly residents and 760,000 units with children, will become smoke free.

Smoking and tobacco-related injuries and deaths are a particular problem in public housing. Public housing residents exhibit high rates of tobacco-related illnesses; health problems that could be exacerbated by secondhand smoke, such as heart disease, diabetes, and asthma; and injury or death due to smoking-related fires.  Health Centers located in or immediately accessible to public housing are the primary source of health care for this special population. When the smoking ban goes into effect, it is likely that many public housing residents will attempt to quit tobacco products, resulting in a higher need for smoking cessation and counseling services.  See our brief Public Housing is Going Smoke Free here. 



National Center for Health and Public Housing:

American Lung Association

HUD’s Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: