HUD's Instituting Smoke-Free Public Housing Rule (FR-5597-F-03) (the Smoke-Free Rule" or "Rule") (PIH-2017-03) (24 CFR Parts 965 and 966) is intended to improve indoor air quality, benefit the health of public housing residents and PHA staff, reduce the risk of fires, and lower overall maintenance costs. PHAs must design and implement a policy barring the use of prohibited tobacco products in all public housing living units, interior common areas, and outdoor areas within 25 feet from public housing and administrative office buildings (collectively, "restricted areas"). The Rule does not prohibit smoking by residents; rather, it requires that residents who smoke do so at least 25 feet away from the buildings.
Prohibited tobacco products are defined as items that involve the ignition and burning of tobacco leaves, such as cigarettes, cigars, pipes, and water pipes (also known as hookahs). Hookahs are smoking devices that use coal or charcoal to heat tobacco, and then draw the smoke through water and a hose to the user. Both the heating source and the burning of tobacco are sources of contaminant emissions.
Interior common areas include but are not limited to: hallways, rental and administrative offices, community centers, daycare centers, laundry centers, and similar structures.