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All Public Housing Developments will Now Be Smoke-Free

 U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro announced that public housing developments in the U.S. will now be required to provide a smoke-free environment for their residents.

Secretary Castro said HUD's new rule will provide resources and support to more than 3,100 Public Housing Agencies (PHAs) to implement required smoke-free policies over the next 18 months.

"Every child deserves to grow up in a safe, healthy home free from harmful second-hand cigarette smoke," said Secretary Castro. "HUD's smoke-free rule is a reflection of our commitment to using housing as a platform to create healthy communities. By working collaboratively with public housing agencies, HUD's rule will create healthier homes for all of our families and prevent devastating and costly smoking-related fires."

HUD said the smoke-free rule will reduce damage and maintenance costs associated with smoking.

A press release from HUD said national smoke-free policy will save public housing agencies $153 million every year in repairs and preventable fires, including $94 million in secondhand smoke-related health care, $43 million in renovation of smoking-permitted units, and $16 million in smoking-related fire losses.

 "Protecting people from secondhand smoke saves lives and saves money," said CDC Director, Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. "This is especially important in the places where we live. No level of secondhand smoke exposure is safe, and the home is the primary source of secondhand smoke for children."

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