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Wednesday, January 9, 2019

When I started campaigning to disband smoking in public housing I lost a LOT of "friends," but my health was far more important to me. They were people that smoked. A few didn't talk to me for MONTHS!

Headlines from Marshall Independent Newspaper (Marshall, MN)


I wrote to MANY politicians, locally and throughout the US in an effort to communicate the dangers of allowing smoking in HUD's Public Housing.

"Another game-changer in the works to eliminate smoking" (November 20, 2015) (CLICK HERE TO READ ARTICLE)

"Establishing a #smokefree rule would improve the health of 2 million public housing residents, including nearly 330,000 seniors." - Julian Castro, then HUD Secretary Julian Castro.

Smoking Ban to Take Effect in Public Housing Nationwide (July 13, 2018) (CLICK HERE TO READ ARTICLE)

I am the woman these articles are about. I post them, because I'm attempting to get HUD's Mandatory Meal Program disbanded.

Why I wanted public housing to be non-smoking in addition to it benefiting other's health:

"Prohibiting smoking in public housing would save lives AND $153 million annually."

A NATIONWIDE BAN ON smoking in public housing is poised to take effect almost two years after it was passed.

The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development will prohibit the smoking of cigarettes, cigars and pipes beginning July 31 in all public housing units and common areas. The restriction will also apply to areas within 25 feet of public housing grounds, according to a release from the department. Electronic cigarettes have not been banned as of yet but may be in the future. Marijuana remains illegal under federal law, and use of the drug – even for medicinal purposes – was already prohibited in public housing even in states where it has been legalized, although officials have some discretion in enforcement.

More than 600 public housing agencies comprising 228,000 housing units already comply with the rule, but now the rest – some 940,000 housing units – will have to follow suit. People who smoke are allowed to rent public housing units, and they do not need to quit smoking to live there. They are just not allowed to smoke within the restricted areas.

The smoking ban applies to housing employees, residents, guests and other visitors. HUD advises residents to remind those living and visiting public housing that it is now a smoke-free environment. People can leave the property or move to a smoking area if one is available.

If a person is caught smoking in a restricted area, the release states the offense will be treated as a lease violation and the housing agency staff will provide the offender with more "details about what the rules say."

According to HUD, people who smoke are not protected under the Fair Housing Act and they "do not have special legal status." Therefore, the department's smoke-free policy is legal.

The department is enacting the policy to reduce secondhand smoke, which can cause health problems, including heart disease, cancer, and lung disease. It has also been linked to sudden infant death syndrome, the release stated.

"Children who breathe secondhand smoke are more likely to get sick, cough, and even have poorer performance at school," the release said.

HUD provides resources and advice to help smokers quit, including joining others to quit smoking together, using gum, patches and other aids and talking with medical providers.

#budget #bus #diet #elderly #expenses #food #foodstamps #health #healthy #HUD #government #lowincome #lowincomesenior #mandatorymealprogram #marshallindependent #politician #politicians #seniors #smoking #SNAP

My other community service
Back in Colorado I testified before the House and Senate Judiciary Committees regarding a Bill that would increase penalties for those that drank and drive with minor children in their vehicle. The Bill was passed. My testimony was written up in 4 local newspapers.



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