You can no longer smoke inside of public housing properties or near them.
In July 2017, the policy was expanded to say no smoking was allowed on balconies or patios, and residents had to be at least 25 feet away from the buildings to be able to smoke.
According to the American Lung Association, a new smokefree housing rule from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will protect as many as 15,000 RI families who are now living in public housing communities from secondhand smoke.
Along with promoting the health benefits of not smoking, HUD hopes the new rule will also "create healthy environments that encourage people who smoke to quit or attempt to reduce smoking", the agency says.
Public housing authorities were given more than two years to begin implementing and enforcing the policy, announced two years ago by the HUD.
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"I'm an adult and I feel like I am being treated like a child when you tell me I can't smoke if I choose to smoke", West said. "They have more things to fix than telling somebody they can't smoke", Robinson said. It doesn't apply to e-cigarettes and chewing tobacco.
Because the rule is a part of tenant's leases, residents of Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority communities must sign a lease addendum between July 20 and July 30.
The new smoking ban provides an extra level of protection.
Residents are fuming at the new policies stating it's not fair they will be monitored in their homes.
The new rule is meant to cut down on secondhand smoke and the risk of smoking-related fires in residential buildings.