Why HUD Should Allow Vaping In Public Housing
The Department of Housing and Urban Development, HUD, plans to initiate a ban on smoking in public housing and it may include a ban on vaping.
The new rule would affect more than 700,000 public housing units including over 500,000 units inhabited by elderly households or younger people with disabilities. Last week, the agency opened a 60-day public comment period.
One can readily understand the public health reasons for a smoking ban. But there are troubling implications for the smokers themselves. After all, who lives in public housing? Disabled individuals, the mentally ill, the recently homeless, and extremely low income people are disproportionately housed in public facilities relative to the community as a whole.
One way to deal with a smoking ban is to allow electronic cigarettes. As of now, a vaping ban is not part of the proposed rule, which is limited to “lit tobacco products.” Nonetheless, HUD says it “encourages Public Housing Authorities that already have smoke-free policies to consider whether vaping should be included in their smoke-free policies.”
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