The Patrick Administration is moving to stamp out smoking in public housing.

The Department of Housing and Community Development on Thursday issued guidelines to all 240 local housing authorities urging them to develop smoke-free housing policies within their state-aided public housing units.

Smoke-free policies would prohibit tenants from smoking in a housing authority's buildings and apartments.

Local housing authorities couldn't ban tenants who smoke, nor could they force a tenant to quit smoking in order to keep their apartment, as long as they don't smoke in any of a housing authority's buildings or units.

Smoking is currently allowed in state-owned public housing units.

Housing Undersecretary Aaron Gornstein said the goal is to protect the health of residents from second hand smoke, prevent deaths and injuries from smoking-related fires, and reduce unit turnover costs.

The New Bedford Housing Authority approved a smoking ban last year, effective January 1st, 2014.  It prohibits smoking in all housing authority apartments and property.

(Associated Press)


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