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Southern Nevada housing board OKs smoking ban for public housing

Updated March 16, 2018 - 8:40 am

Smoking will be banned inside local public housing beginning in August.

Repeat offenders could be evicted, according to a Southern Nevada Regional Housing Authority policy approved Thursday.

Authority commissioners voted unanimously Thursday to enact the policy. The move follows a 2016 decree by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development that all public housing authorities implement smoke-free policies by July 30.

“It was important for the department to take action on an issue that has a clear and proven impact on the indoor environment of people living in public housing,” HUD spokesman Ed Cabrera said. “There’s broad consensus now that shows the harmful effect that smoking, even secondhand, has on the health and life outcomes of everyone.”

There are about 2,600 units of public housing in the Las Vegas Valley. They house more than 5,000 low-income families.

The new rules don’t prohibit residents from smoking, but they must light up at least 25 feet away from housing authority buildings. Any household that violates the smoke-free policy four times will be subject to eviction.

Use of e-cigarettes will still be allowed inside public housing. Use of marijuana products, medical or recreational, anywhere on housing authority property is prohibited.

The smoking ban does not extend to privately owned properties in the housing choice voucher program. Rules for those homes and apartments are decided by the landlords of those properties.

Contact Michael Scott Davidson at sdavidson@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3861. Follow @davidsonlvrj on Twitter.

Correction: A previous version of this article misstated how many people live in local public housing. The correct number is more than 5,000.

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