On November 30, 2016, HUD announced that it was issuing a final rule to make all public housing smoke-free. The rule covers cigarettes, cigars, pipes, and water pipes/hookahs, but not e-cigarettes, and covers living units, indoor common areas, administrative offices, and all outdoor areas within 25 feet of housing and office buildings.
The rule will apply to more than 3,100 Public Housing Authorities (PHAs) across the country. In a press release announcing the rule, HUD noted:
Since 2009, HUD has strongly encouraged PHAs to adopt smoke-free policies in their buildings and common areas, a policy many private housing developments already have in place. During this time, more than 600 PHAs and Tribally Designated Housing Entities (TDHEs) have adopted smoke-free policies. Through HUD’s voluntary policy and local initiatives, more than 228,000 public housing units are already smoke-free. Once fully implemented, the smoke-free rule announced today would expand the impact to more than 940,000 public housing units, including more than 500,000 units inhabited by elderly residents and 760,000 children living in public housing.
PHAs will have 18 months after the effective date of the rule to implement the changes. The rule was published in the Federal Register on December 5, 2016, and will become effective after 60 days, or on February 3, 2017.