SYLACAUGA, Ala. – A ban on smoking in public housing will go into effect nationwide beginning July 31.

According to the U.S. Dept. of  Housing and Urban Development, a rule was put into place on Dec. 5, 2016 for each Public Housing Agency administering low-income, conventional public housing to initiate a smoke-free policy.

The effective date of the rule was Feb. 3, 2017 which allowed for an 18-month period for each housing agency to implement the changes.

The Sylacauga Housing Authority (SHA), which is the governing body of Drew Court, Sylavon Court, Sylavon Towers, and Virginia S. West Homes, put its smoke free plan into action a month before the ultimatum issued by HUD.

The rule was an outgrowth of many years of research on the harms and costs associated with smoking and ongoing efforts from HUD to promote the voluntary adoption of smoke-free policies by PHAs and the owners/operators of federally subsidized multifamily properties.

SHA’s policy went into effect on July 1 for all tenants and employees. The policy does not mandate tenants and employees quit smoking, but eliminates smoking in many areas of each housing district. It also includes tenant’s guests, visitors, contractors and service personnel.

The SHA policy eliminates smoking from all of its indoor and outdoor areas and also includes doorways, entrances, windows, porches, parking lots, sidewalks, playgrounds, maintenance facilities and SHA vehicles.

Cigarettes, cigars, “vaping” and, obviously, marijuana is banned.

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