Should Smoking Be Banned Inside Public Housing?
By Colleen Chen, NEWS 9
STILLWATER, Oklahoma -- Public housing across the nation could be changing indoor smoking policies. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has sent a recommendation of banning indoor smoking to Public Housing Authorities.
There are 105 Public Housing Authorities in Oklahoma. The Stillwater Housing Authority is seriously considering the ban, and has sent a survey to it’s residents. So far, the survey has shown residents in favor of adopting the ban.
Glen Redding is the executive director of the Stillwater Housing Authority and said banning smoking inside the units would save more than lives.
"The walls have yellowed as a result of smokers causing damages to the apartment. We've also had cases of small burns in the carpet from dropped cigarettes. If a ban is put in place, we would be able to save money by having fewer damages to fix. As a result, taxpayers wouldn’t have to pay as much money either," Redding said.
Despite the survey, the proposed ban is drawing mixed reactions. Some residents say they feel entitled to having the option of smoking inside.
"As a smoker myself, I don’t smoke in my house but there are other people that do so I don’t think that would be fair. They’ve already paid the bills, why make it to where you can’t do something inside your own home?" said Tasha Posey.
Another resident said she thinks it would be a good idea. Melissa Roberts already takes her cigarette smoking outside because of her children.
"There are a lot of families that live here. We adults may choose to smoke, but our children don’t. The smoking ban would be a good thing," Roberts said.
The ban still needs to get the approval of the board. A vote is expected in February. If it does pass, Redding said implementation won’t happen for about two months. He said he wants to give tenants time to either take a smoking cessation class or have the option to move.
All housing authorities in the country will have to make a decision as to whether or not they implement the HUD recommendation. They are not mandated to make the change.