Proposed federal rule would protect public housing residents from secondhand smoke

The New York Times reports:

Smoking would be prohibited in public housing homes nationwide under a proposed federal rule announced on Thursday, a move that would affect nearly one million households and open the latest front in the long-running campaign to curb unwanted exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke.

The ban, proposed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, would serve "to protect residents from secondhand smoke, which can travel through walls and under doors; to reduce the risk of fires; and to lower building maintenance costs," the Times explains.

Of course, the restriction protecting the health of some comes at the expense of freedom for others. But federal housing officials point out that exposure to any secondhand smoke is dangerous and no amount of ventilation or air filtering could eliminate the exposure. And the head of the New York City Housing Authority points out that 35% of public housing households including a resident suffering from asthma.

Like a person's freedom to swing his arm, it seems, a person's freedom to smoke should end where his neighbor's nose begins.

Read the Times story here.

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