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Wagner: Residents in HUD public housing are going to be prohibited from smoking in their apartments?

Jeff Wagner

People living in public housing soon won't be able to smoke in and around their residences.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced the new rule Wednesday. 

It will impact people living in 940,000 public housing units.

Residents won't be able to smoke any lit tobacco products or hookahs in their units, common areas and outdoor areas within 25 feet of housing and administrative offices.

HUD touted the health benefits it will have for the elderly, as well as 760,000 children living in public housing. 

But it'll also benefit HUD. It said the new policy will save public housing agencies $153 million annually.

Citing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the agency said the rule will reduce preventable fire, building repair and smoking-related health care costs.

Public housing agencies have about 18 months to implement the new policy. But 600 public and tribal agencies have already put in place smoke-free policies.   

According to The New York Times, HUD Secretary Julián Castro said he doesn't foresee the new policy resulting in evictions. 

With a new administration coming in less than two months, it is possible the rule could end up being overturned.

Jeff Wagner will take calls on the matter during the 2 p.m. hour. 

To listen live, click here.

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