HUD announces nationwide smoking ban in public housing units - WDRB 41 Louisville News

HUD announces nationwide smoking ban in public housing units

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Smokers who live in public housing will no longer be able to light up at home.

That's because of a nationwide smoking ban that will include public housing in Louisville, but not all smokers think it is a bad rule ... even those who still enjoy smoking.

"Since that first cigarette, I'm gonna a be honest with you," said William Thornton, who had his first cigarette 51 years ago.

He has tried to kick the habit, but with no luck.

"I know they're the worst thing for you, but I am hooked," Thornton said.

But soon, he may not have much of a choice.

"It's a good thing, really," he said.

Thornton is a longtime resident of Avenue Plaza near downtown Louisville, one of several public housing units that will soon be smoke free.

"We knew it was coming, and we advised the residents it was coming," said Tim Barry, Executive Director Louisville Metro Housing Authority.

This week, The Department of Housing and Urban Development announced a ban on smoking in public housing units nationwide.

"I think to create a safer environment for people," said Barry, who added they've already started preparing people who live in public housing with only a small amount of push back.

"Not as much as I anticipated, but some, because you do have people that smoke, and they like to smoke and were afraid what might happen when this rule finally took place."

The ban means lit tobacco product would be prohibited in all apartments, indoor common areas, offices and outdoor areas within 25-feet of the entrances, but it doesn't take effect until next year.

"At least we have been given some notice, and we have provided residents, over the course of the last year to 18 months, as much notice as we could," Barry said.

Meanwhile, Thornton said 51 years of blowing smoke is long enough, and he hopes the government can do what he could not.

"The best way to stop it is with a little help," he said. "It's hard to do things by yourself."

Right now, electronic cigarettes are not including in the ban.

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