NYCHA developments set to become smoke-free Monday

A new nationwide policy requires smokers to be 25 feet away from public housing.

According to the Federal Department of Housing and Urban Development, it affects more than 940,000 public housing units around the country.

The smoking ban will not apply to chewing tobacco or electronic cigarettes.

"Smoking in any area where it is not allowed will be treated as a lease violation", HUD's website states. In South Dakota, nearly 3000 people live in public housing, but the rule is nothing new in KOTA Territory.

In addition to reducing the risk of fires and lowering maintenance costs, HUD said the ban on smoking would drastically improve indoor air quality in public housing spaces. Those results, and research indicating how much money could be saved, were enough to forbid any smoking in public housing.

The ban was passed under the Obama administration in November 2016.

While tenants who break the rule could be evicted, smoking on public housing premises is a civil violation, not a crime, and one violation is "not grounds for eviction", the agency said. But the agency said almost a quarter of a million units were already smoke-free in 2016. The Pennington County Housing and Redevelopment Association buildings have been smoking free since April 2017.

"Chronic diseases are preventable and we think this policy, in the years to come, you will see the impact", NYC Department of Health Assistant Commissioner Javier Lopez said.

Ince said residents were given ample time to prepare for the new rule and have their questions answered.