The American Lung Association of the Northeast stood with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for its announcement that will require all public housing agencies to go smokefree.

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This rule will protect two million Americans, across the country, from exposure to secondhand smoke in their homes. This includes those most vulnerable to the effects of secondhand smoke, including 760,000 children and more than 300,000 adults over the age of 62. The policies apply to residential units as well as common areas.

Jeff Seyler, President and CEO of the American Lung Association of the Northeast said,  “The Lung Association welcomes this announcement, which ensures new protections for the health of millions of Americans.  Smokefree housing is a win-win – residents breathe better and it costs less to maintain buildings. No matter where you live, home should be a place safe from the risks of secondhand smoke exposure.”

Maine was the first state in the nation to have all Public Housing Authorities (PHA) implement smokefree policies protecting the residents from secondhand smoke.  The twenty Maine PHAs each voluntarily adopted a policy that made their buildings smokefree between 2004 and 2012 which has impacted nearly 10,000 Maine residents in more than 4,300 units.  Policy adoption and implementation was supported by a number of factors and PHAs received support, at different levels based upon need, from the Smoke-Free Housing Coalition of Maine, a program of the Breathe Easy Coalition.

More than 600 public housing authorities nationwide have already gone smokefree, protecting their residents and reducing the risk of fires and costs to property owners.