Involving residents could help as public housing goes smoke-free

Enlisting all residents of public housing authorities—both smokers and non-smokers—could help with the implementation of a new policy prohibiting indoor smoking in federally funded public housing, including within residents’ apartments, according to a new commentary by researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

The authors outlined challenges to implementing the policy, which was mandated in a November 30, 2016 rule from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and they offered possible solutions to ease the burden of transition.

Gary Adamkiewicz, assistant professor of environmental health and exposure disparities at Harvard Chan School, and colleagues wrote that it is critical that public housing authorities make it easier for residents to smoke in acceptable areas or to begin a smoking cessation program. They suggested that all public housing residents—smokers and non-smokers alike—be enlisted to create a culture of health within their communities.

The commentary was published online January 19, 2017 in the American Journal of Public Health.

Read AJPH commentary: Delivering on the Promise of Smoke-Free Public Housing

Read Massachusetts General Hospital press release: Public health experts support federally mandated smoke-free public housing

Learn more

Proposed smoking ban in public housing could improve health of millions (Harvard Chan School news)

Getting residents on board with proposed smoking ban in public housing (Harvard Chan School news)