HUD pushes for smoke-free public housing

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U.S. Housing and Urban Development announced a proposed rule to make all public housing smoke-free.

The rule would prevent tenants from smoking inside or within 25 feet of buildings at the nearly 1.2 million housing units nationwide.

The Tampa Housing Authority is ahead of the curve and already offers smoke-free living at several properties just the way HUD would like it. 

"In this particular community, not only are you not allowed to smoke outside, but you can't smoke inside either," Billi Griffin, a former smoker said.

She has lived at The Encore for three years and enjoys the clean air.

"It helps those of us who enjoy the outdoors. If I want to come out and sit in the esplanade and enjoy it, I don't have to worry about smelling cigar or cigarette smoke," Griffin said.

Pinellas County officials say two of their four public housing authorities are already smoke-free, with plans for a third to be smoke-free in the future.

HUD Secretary Julian Castro said, "This proposed rule will help improve the health of more than 760,000 children and help public housing agencies save $153 million every year in healthcare, repairs and preventable fires."