The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has threatened that it will ban the use of e-cigarettes in public housing, which some pro-vaping groups have derided as ‘cruel’ and ‘unforceable.’
HUD last week opened its 60 day comment period on whether or not it should include vaping in its proposed smoking ban in public housing. The new rule would apply to more than 700,000 apartments and homes. This includes over 500,000 that are occupied by the elderly.
The policy’s price? $212 million, which does not include enforcement costs, which HUD has not estimated.
The idea that e-cigs, which have been shown to be much less harmful than regular cigarettes, could be outlawed in poor Americans’ homes is being blasted by many vaping groups.
According to Greg Conley, President of the American Vaping Association, for many years HUD tenants have been forced to deal with the waste, mismanagement and outright fraud of public housing organizations.
Now, he said, these bureaucrats want to prevent smokers from switching to products with a much lower health risk. E-cigarettes are both tobacco and smoke free.
According to a study by Public Health England, e-cigs are at least 95% safer than any tobacco product. E-cigarettes can be a crucial tool to get people to stop smoking. While pro-vapers concede that e-cigs may not be 100% safe, they have virtually none of the harmful chemicals that cigarettes do – the ones that lead to lung cancer and other serious health problems.
Conley added that the most affected victims of a public housing e-cig ban would be the disabled. The ban would not just apply to the homes themselves, but all areas that are within 30 feet of public housing buildings. So, vapers could even be evicted for breaking the anti-smoking rules.
The executive director of Advocates for Smoke-Free Alternatives agrees, noting that it is very unlikely that anyone who vapes would ever obey this rule in public housing. She concluded that the vaping ban is virtually impossible to enforce in any case, and is simply a waste of taxpayer funds.