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HUD bans smoking in public housing for Baton Rouge residents

BATON ROUGE, LA (LOCAL 33) (FOX44) - As of July 1st, people living in Baton Rouge public housing are not allowed to smoke inside their home. Smokers will have to be at least 25 feet away from the property.

"It stinks, it's an awful smell, said Marjorie Mackson.

Mackson lives at Capitol Square, a public housing property near downtown on 17th street. She's lived in public housing since 2000 and said 2nd hand smoke sometimes drifts into her apartment.

"In these apartments, the walls are so thin, if my neighbors are smoking cigarettes I can smell it into my apartment," said Mackson,who supports the ban.

Another who didn't want to go on camera, said she pays rents and its her right to smoke.

Housing and Urban Development (HUD) said smoking leads to health and serious property damage and estimates they'll save $154 million annually by mandating a smoke free policy.

According to HUD's smoke-free guidebook they'll enforce the ban by sending a letter to the tenant if smoking is observed. After three strikes the eviction process may begin.

Mackson doesn't want to see anyone put out onto the streets, but she thinks the smoke free policy will have its benefits.

"This will be a healthier complex to live in for the people that do live here,"said Mackson.

Across the country smoking will be banned in all public housing by July 30th.


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