Health and medical groups are calling for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to follow through with a proposal that would ban smoking in public housing facilities.
Groups included in the joint comments are the American Heart Association, the American Lung Association (ALA), the American Society of Pediatrics and the American Cancer Society (ACS). The proposal was developed in order to diminish the exposure to secondhand smoke for those living in such situations. Bans would be effective in both common areas and the residential units.
An ACS representative stated that, if put into effect, this measure would be able to protect approximately two million people from secondhand smoke inhalation.
“The American Lung Association urges HUD to quickly finalize this life-saving regulation so that residents living in public housing can be protected from secondhand smoke,” Harold Wimmer, ALA's national president and CEO, said. “No one should be exposed to secondhand smoke in homes, especially our nation’s most vulnerable citizens, including children, the elderly and low-income Americans.”
The groups believe that smoke-free policies should include e-cigarettes and hookah, in addition to traditional cigarettes and cigars -- and that all federally supported housing should have smoke-free policies.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), smoke is able to travel through doorways, electrical lines, plumbing and ventilation systems.