Protect Citizen Health by Banning Smoking in Public Housing

Traget: Julián Castro, Secretary Housing and Urban Development

Goal: Pass recently proposed rule banning smoking in all public housing facilities.

Decades ago, the Surgeon General made it clear that smoking and second hand smoke are harmful. In the years since, workplaces, restaurants, and countless other public locations have become non-smoking facilities. One exception to this is public housing. Typically apartment style buildings rented out to lower-income people, public housing has been viewed as each resident’s private home and thus not subject to regulations about smoking. A newly proposed rule would change that.

Since public housing frequently provides homes for elderly and families with young children, the resident populations are at a higher risk for complications caused by second-hand smoke. With that in mind, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which administers the public housing program, announced that they’re taking public comments on a potential rule to ban smoking in all public housing units, indoor common areas, and outside locations that would allow smoke to enter the building.

If passed, it’s expected that this new rule will help the agency save more than $150 million a year in health care, repairs, and accidental fires. Estimates suggest there are more than 100,000 smoking related accidental fires each year, which are the leading cause of death in multifamily dwellings and cause more than half a billion dollars in damage annually. This rule would also safe guard the health of more than 760,000 children and their families.

Add your voice to the public comments on this issue and tell HUD to keep lower-income families healthy by passing this rule.


Dear Secretary Castro,

In the decades since the Surgeon General connected smoking and second hand smoke to health issues, countless public areas have become strictly non-smoking. The newly proposed rule that would ban smoking inside public housing facilities is a great step towards protecting America’s youth and elderly.

More than 760,000 children reside in public housing and may currently be exposed to second hand smoke through the walls and floors of their home. In addition to protecting them, this new rule would save the department, and taxpayers, more than $150 million a year; money which is currently spent on health care, repairs, and preventable fires.

As part of your request for public comments on this rule prior to passing it, please consider the below signatures as individual voices of support for this necessary rule protecting the health of our most vulnerable population members: kids and elderly people.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: gerlat

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