New federal rule bans smoking in public housing

The new rule gives public housing agencies 18 months to implement the ban

The cigarette tax in Pennsylvania is going up.

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Obama administration has announced a final rule prohibiting smoking in public housing developments nationwide.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development says more than 228,000 public housing units are already smoke-free. The rule HUD announced Wednesday will expand the impact to more than 940,000 units.

The final rule prohibits lit tobacco products in all living units and indoor common areas, and all outdoor areas within 25 feet of housing and administrative offices. The new rule gives public housing agencies 18 months to implement the ban.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the smoke-free policy will save housing agencies $153 million every year in repairs, preventable fires and health care costs. That amount includes $16 million in costs associated with smoking-related fires.

(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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