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WASHINGTON D.C. -- The U.S Housing and Urban Development will require public housing developments to be smoke-free. HUD will help 3,100 Public Housing Agencies implement the smoke-fee policies over the next 18 months.

The rule prohibits lit tobacco products, which includes cigarettes, cigars and pipes in all units, common areas, administrative offices and outdoor areas within 25 feet of housing and administrative buildings.

HUD said it listened to 1,000 comments from PHAs, housing and health partners and tenant advocates before making the final decision. 

"Every child deserves to grow up in a safe, healthy home free from harmful second-hand cigarette smoke," said Secretary Castro. "HUD's smoke-free rule is a reflection of our commitment to using housing as a platform to create healthy communities. By working collaboratively with public housing agencies, HUD's rule will create healthier homes for all of our families and prevent devastating and costly smoking-related fires."

HUD started encouraging PHAs to adopt smoke-free policies in their buildings and common areas in 2009.

According to HUD, it's a policy that many private housing developments already have in place. The rule will reduce damage and maintenance costs associated with smoking.

According to the CDC, the policy will save public housing agencies $153 million dollars a year in repairs and preventable fires.

The breakdown:

  • $94 million in secondhand smoke-related healthcare
  • $43 million in renovation of smoking-permitted units
  • $16 million in smoking-related fire losses