NEW YORK, NY - A lawsuit was filed today challenging the Department of Housing and Urban Development's rule that directs all state and local housing authorities to ban smoking inside and out of public housing facilities nationwide.
HUD’s anti-smoking regulation was finalized during the Obama Administration with an effective date of compliance no later than July 30, 2018. It bans smoking in any public housing facility, including inside of tenants’ apartments, and it requires public housing authorities to implement and enforce rules accordingly. Public housing tenants, many of whom are veterans or minorities, are subject to eviction for violating the new regulation.
Audrey Silk, founder of C.L.A.S.H. says, “Anti-smokers claim that HUD's smoking ban is a valid exercise of government power because there is no general ‘right to smoke,’ but that claim is intentionally misleading because the government doesn't have the right to reach into our homes and dictate our personal behaviors and habits. This lawsuit is about defending the right to be left alone to engage in a legal activity in the privacy of one’s own home."
The US Department of Housing and Urban Development states going smoke-free will lower property maintenance costs and reduce the risk of fire.
The regulation allows residents to smoke only 25 feet away from the public home.
The US Department of Housing and Urban Development estimates they'll save $154-million annually by mandating a smoke-free policy. Smoke-free housing isn’t a new concept for HUD. Over the last decade, they have encouraged both public housing authorities and multifamily housing owners to establish smoke-free communities.