Smoking no longer allowed in New York City Public Housing

NEW YORK -- Smoking is no longer allowed in New York City public housing.

NYCHA and the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene officials launched the new smoke-free policy Monday morning.

The rule prohibits smoking in any New York City public housing apartment or building or within 25 feet of the building.

The city says it wants to create a healthier environment for the 400,000 New Yorkers who live in public housing developments.

WATCH an excerpt from Monday's rollout presentation

NYCHA says it's meeting a federal deadline that requires all public housing nationwide to go smoke-free by this week.

"When we first learned of the new HUD rule requiring public housing to go smoke-free, we knew it was critical to engage our residents on the smoke-free conversation and what this will mean for their homes and public health overall in NYCHA communities," said NYCHA Interim Chair and CEO Stanley Brezenoff in a written statement. "As a public housing landlord, we are required to implement a smoke-free policy, but we will continue to talk to residents and work with our partners - like the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene - to support programs city-wide that reduce exposure to secondhand smoke and expand access to resources for residents who want to quit smoking."

Approximately 18 months ago, HUD's proposed smoke-free rule required the more than 3,100 public housing agencies nationwide to implement smoke-free policies in their developments by July 30, 2018. Also, in accordance with HUD guidelines, all NYCHA families received notice of planned lease changes in January 2018 and a lease addendum in spring 2018.

The new rule allows NYCHA staff and residents to report violations; enforcement will include an informal conversation to discuss the smoking ban along with the provision of educational materials. NYCHA's goal is to not terminate tenancy but to provide information and expand access to resources should residents want to quit smoking.

As part of the new Smoke-Free NYCHA policy, smoking cessation materials and palm cards are being made available to any resident seeking help thanks to NYCHA's partnership with DOHMH, NYC Smoke-Free and other partners.

For more information, visit

For resources on quitting smoking, visit NYCQuits.

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