Locals react to the public housing smoking ban

MACON, Georgia (41NBC/ WMGT) – For smokers living in public housing, there’s a new nationwide rule now in place.

Lighting up and smoking a cigarette, cigar, or pipe is legal. But, where public housing residents smoke is now against a new rule.

As of earlier this week, smoking inside a unit is not allowed.

“There is 760,000 children who live in public housing throughout the United States and this is a positive effort to get second-hand smoke out of public housing units,” Macon Public Housing Authority CEO Mike Austin said.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development made the nationwide smoking ban effective as of July 31st. Smokers now have to be within 25-feet of the unit before lighting up.

“I think it’s a good rule, but cause if smoking around here, as high as the grass is, it could start a wild-fire like what we have going on in California,” Pennamon Robin, a resident, said.

According to Austin, they are just trying to keep kids healthy, help those that want to quit smoking and help with unit turn over costs.

“People, when they smoke in units, when they move out it becomes expensive to clean up, to repaint and to try get rid of the smoke smell and get it ready for a new tenant,” Austin said.

The Public Housing Authority isn’t trying to make you put it out, or get put out.

“We will work with people up to six times before we would evict them,” Austin said.

After the sixth warning, Austin says they will be kicked out of Macon Housing Authority. But residents will still be able to live in other housing authorities.

Residents Robin are worried the new rule will be a safety hazard.

“I’m trying to keep the people away since they brought this new law in. I want them to stay out there. They said 25 feet away so I don’t know if I should rope it off, but I don’t want company walking close to my residents with a possible fire from smoking cigarettes,” Robin said.

For those wanting to quit, representatives from Peyton Anderson Cancer Center, Navicent Health have spoken with residents about the dangers of smoking. Navicent Health will offer monthly classes for those wanting to quit. To find out more, you can call Navicent at (478)633-8537.


Categories: Bibb County, Local News

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