Smoking now banned in public housing nationwide

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The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced the change in November of 2016.

Keep in mind, it doesn't apply to e-cigarettes, snuff and chewing tobacco.

Resident can still smoke but, if they want to, they need to be at least 25 feet away from the building.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently conducted research that found most multi-unit housing residents had smoke-free homes, but almost one-third of those residents said cigarette smoke from other areas of the building often entered their apartments.

Housing and Urban Development's ban on tobacco use inside public housing officially hit its roll-out deadline Tuesday.

The new rule is not being universally embraced - a smoker's rights group in NY is suing to block the ban on the grounds that it violates tenants' constitutional rights.

It will affect more than 3,100 public-housing agencies across the nation.

HUD's website dictated it doesn't only protect resident health, but the ban also reduces maintenance costs. The ban is expected to save government housing agencies $153 million a year in repairs and health care costs, including $16 million for costs tied to smoking-related fires, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated in 2014.

"I think this will be one of the hardest rules to follow", Perry Rumnit, Jr., a NYCHA resident, says in a promotional video for the policy. "So that means I pay rent here and I have to go out and stand in the middle of the street just to smoke a cigarette?" To that effect, the encouragement will be underlined by stringent guidelines: Tenants could face eviction for violation of these rules - though first offenses will be forgiven.

ALS says they are working with public housing authorities to help make the transition to a smoke-free environment.