Smoking ban to go in effect for public housing July 31

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The Pennington County Housing and Redevelopment Association buildings have been smoking free since April 2017.

Starting Tuesday, all public housing facilities across the country must have a smoke-free policy in place. Multiple fires in central IL were caused by indoor smoking, like the fire at Concord Apartments that claimed the life of one man this year.

Residents are fuming at the new policies stating it's not fair they will be monitored in their homes.

Edwards said the consequences of not following this new rule will be determined by each individual housing authority whether to evict, or not. It doesn't, however, govern any of the other mixed-income housing properties that FWHS owns.

People who don't follow the rules could possibly be evicted.

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"We have no choice here in terms of the legislative process", Alpi said.

The ban includes cigarettes, pipes, cigars and water pipe tobacco (hookahs).

A nationwide ban on smoking in public housing facilities took effect at the end of July, almost two years after the rule was passed. This, after a number of homes caught on fire because of indoor smoking. Not to mention, they estimate it will save public housing agencies $153 million in costs related to healthcare and repairs. Even the American Cancer Society said this policy presents itself as a healthier option.

Montgomery said besides health benefits, there are financial benefits to having a smoke-free policy.

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