Florida — Floridians living in standardized public housing may be soon be ban from smoking, as Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Julian Castro has introduced a smoke-free policy in HUD-affiliated public housing authorities nationwide.
The Bureau of Tobacco Free Florida (BTFF), the state’s comprehensive tobacco prevention and cessation program, has been working to educate public and private housing managers about the benefits of smoke-free policies for over three years and is encouraged by this development.
The bureau’s list of multiunit properties that have enacted voluntary smoke-free policies has grown to more than 1,000 properties since tracking began in 2010. Public housing units have also been making the change.
“Secondhand smoke exposure poses serious health threats to children and adults,” Dr. Swannie Jett, Health Officer for DOH-Seminole said. “For residents of multiunit housing, secondhand smoke can be a major concern.”
Ocala Post reached out to officials and asked what the penalty would be if a resident broke the rules.
Ron Davis, Tobacco Policy Manager in Tallahassee said, “The intention is to protect occupants from exposure to secondhand smoke. Each Public Housing Authority has their own guidelines and procedures. Essentially, it is up to the Public Housing Authority to determine how to handle violations. In the announcement from HUD, Secretary Castro said eviction is a last resort.”
Ocala Post also asked if those living in government housing could be drug tested, but an answer was not received by the time this article was published.
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