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New Federal Housing and Urban Development Smoke-Free Policy Reflects Steps Taken Earlier by Aracadia Housing Authority
December 6, 2016

On June 22, 2009 the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act was signed by President Obama.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), concerned for the well-being of the residents, encouraged housing authorities to adopt non-smoking policies. The Arcadia Housing Authority (AHA) partnered with Tobacco Free Partnership of Desoto County in 2013 and started this endeavor.

Pushing into 2014, resident meetings were held, drafts were created, and final results were submitted to HUD, which approved the Policy. The new Smoke Free Policy was effective July 1, 2015.

Our local policy was created to promote better health for our residents and to reduce the fire risk associated with smoking.  Tobacco use is prohibited 10 feet from common areas, public housing living units, and the AHA administration buildings. Neighboring agencies such as Avon Park, Sarasota, and Fort Myers were well ahead of the game with Smoke Free Policies enforced in earlier dates.

On December 6, 2016, the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development took a major step forward and published its final rule Instituting Smoke-Free Public Housing. This CFR applies a few of the familiar rules from the 2009 Act with a new extension of all outdoor areas up to 25 feet from all public housing units and administrative office buildings.

This final rule improves indoor air quality, benefits the health of our residents and staff members, and lowers overall maintenance costs.  As quoted from Secretary Julian Castro, “Every child deserves to grow up in a safe, healthy home free from harmful second-hand cigarette smoke”.  The effective date of the new change will take place February 3, 2017. With team effort and resources, we will build safer and healthier communities for all.