CDC Recommends Smoking Ban In Apartments and Subsidized Housing

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently studied the harmful effects of allowing tenants to smoke in subsidized housing and apartment complexes.  The organization recommended a national ban on smoking within subsidized housing units to protect the health of innocents, and to save over $521 million in reduced healthcare and renovation expenditures.

Previous studies suggest tenants are affected by secondhand smoke emitted from other units or hallways where smoking does occur.  According to the US Department of Health, secondhand smoke is responsible for 50,000 deaths every year across the country.  Dr. Tim McAfee, Director of the Office on Smoking and Health at the CDC, says the residents most likely to die or experience severe health problems from secondhand smoke are people with the weakest immune systems.

“Many of the more than 7 million Americans living in subsidized housing in the United States are children, the elderly or disabled.  These are people who are most sensitive to being exposed to secondhand smoke.”

McAfee and his team determined that the US healthcare system would save an estimated $341 million if smoking was banned in all subsidized housing and apartment buildings.  Landlords will also save an estimated $180 million by agreeing to enforce the smoking ban.  Secondhand smoke lingers in buildings, which costs money for the property managers to air out before new tenants move in.  The CDC also predicts the number of apartment and public housing fires will decline if people are legally prohibited from smoking within the units.

The study was supported by the US Housing and Urban Development Department (HUD), which encouraged over 250 public housing units to ban smoking as of January, 2012.  HUD spokespeople are optimistic the CDC report will encourage more complexes to ban smoking.