Smokefree Public Housing Workshop Addresses Implementation of New HUD Rule

The 2017 Smokefree Public Housing Workshop sponsored by the American Cancer Society and Center for Disease Control and Prevention, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) was conducted last week in Atlanta. The collaboration involved partners from Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, New York, Ohio and Texas, local area partners and stakeholders focusing on successfully implementing the new Smokefree Housing Rule from HUD.

"Smokefree housing is a best management practice for housing providers that's a win/win for both management and residents," said Peter J. Ashley, HUD Director, Policy and Standards Division, Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes. "It reduces maintenance costs and the risk of fire and improves indoor air quality. It also provides a great opportunity for smokers to quit, and it's this smoking cessation support that is best provided by our partners in the public health sector."

"The successful implementation of the Smokefree Rule is about saving lives and improving the quality of life and healthspan of those we mutually serve," said Micheal German, HUD's Georgia liaison. "The combined efforts of the American Cancer Society, CDC and our federal and local partners symbolize the ongoing innovative efforts of working together to effectively address and implement the new rule."

On February 3, 2017, HUD's new Smokefree Housing Rule went into effect. The rule is expected to improve the health of more than two million public housing residents, including 760,000 children, by providing a smoke-free environment. It is estimated to save $153 million per year in costs associated with treating the effects of second-hand smoke, repairs of smoke-permitted units, and smoking related fires. By August 2018, it is anticipated that more than 3,100 Public Housing Authorities across the nation will be required to implement the smore-free housing rule.

The workshop provided a unique opportunity for state teams, to learn from experts in the field, strengthen their relationships with their state partners and develop collaborative action plans to support state implementation of the new rule. Major topics that attendees participated in as the breakout teams were partnerships to plan and implement a smokefree public housing policy and resources to support implementation.