The Johnston Housing Authority went smoke free on Jan. 2, joining 15 other public housing authorities in the state to provide smoke-free living for tenants, the authority announced in a release.
The housing authority established and enacted a no smoking policy for its facilities at Aime J. Forand and Claiborne Pell Manor, 8 Forand Circle and 1609 Plainfield Pike, Johnston. The town joins 16 other state public housing authorities in the move to ban cigarettes. A U.S. Housing and Urban Development recommendation first issued in 2009, said that HUD issued a notice regarding non-smoking policies in public housing. The notice strongly encourages public housing authorities to implement non-smoking policies in some, or all, of their public housing units.
Cigarette smoking is the number-one cause of preventable disease in the United States, according to the American Lung Association. The elderly and young populations, as well as people with chronic illnesses, are especially vulnerable to the adverse effects of smoking. This concern was recently addressed by the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act.
Since second-hand smoke can migrate between units in multifamily housing — causing respiratory illness, heart disease, cancer and other adverse health effects — in neighboring families, the HUD is encouraging all public housing authorities to adopt non-smoking policies for all public housing units.
“The JHA Board of Commissioners has been considering the aforementioned recommendation since 2009, and the time has come," said David M. aRusso, JHA executive director. "The JHA commissioners adopted the new smoke free policy in May of 2012 and we have taken proactive steps to inform the residents of the pending changes in order that they begin to plan ahead.”
The new full policy and a revised application are available at www.johstonhousing.org.