• Countrywide smoking ban could mean eviction for those who light up


    CHARLOTTE, N.C. - All public housing is going smoke-free in the U.S., and residents who light up in their homes could be evicted.

    The Charlotte Housing Authority has already banned smoking in its high-rises, and officials are in the process of doing same to its other properties.

    "It's good for the building. So it's good for the environment, and you have people here that have oxygen and, you know, respiratory things," Joan Audain, a public housing resident, said.

    The Monroe Housing Authority sent residents a notice, telling them about the change.

    "I was like, 'Are you kidding me?'" Mandy Garrison, a public housing resident, said.

    Garrison has been smoking since she was a teenager and wants to continue the habit in her apartment.

    "We still have our rights when it comes to our home, I believe," Garrison said.

    The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is requiring housing authorities across the country to go smoke-free.

    HUD said the main reasons are fire potential, secondhand smoke and cleaning costs, which means no more lit tobacco, including cigarettes, cigars and pipes inside the homes or within 25 feet outside them.

    HUD is leaving it to individual housing authorities to police the new rule.

    Charlotte’s housing authority will give violators three warnings, after which they would be subject to eviction.

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