On July 31, the Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) began implementing its smoke-free public housing rule across the nation. This means that people who live in public housing in Louisiana will no longer be allowed to smoke in their apartments, or on the grounds of their housing complex.
After many years of consideration, HUD has gotten serious about the hazards of secondhand smoke, especially for young children, and thirdhand smoke, which is the toxic nicotine residue and chemicals that stick to indoor surfaces like walls, carpeting, and upholstery. HUD hopes that their efforts will not only help save lives, but will help save taxpayers money caused by the damage, cleaning, insurance, and liability issues that are attached to allowing smoking to continue in public housing units for which HUD is responsible.
While smoking rates among United States adults and teens continue to drop, nearly a quarter (21.9 percent) of Louisiana’s residents continue to smoke, even though evidence clearly shows that smoking is not only bad for their physical health (lung cancer, cardiovascular disease, chromosome damage, and more), but for their wallets, as well (average cost for a pack of cigarettes in Louisiana is $5.44 or $1,986 over a year).
The Smoking Cessation Trust strongly encourages all residents of Louisiana public housing to take this opportunity to quit smoking. While there are cessation programs other than the Smoking Cessation Trust available across the state, the Trust’s program is available only to help eligible, current Louisiana residents who smoked a cigarette prior to Sept. 1, 1988. Help is available at www.smokefreela.org or by calling (504) 529-5665 or (855) 259-6346.