The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has implemented new rules mandating smoke-free policies in all public housing by July 30, 2018. The rule covers 3,100 public housing authorities nationwide, including 47 in Colorado.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has been working with public housing authorities and local public health agencies for the past 10 years to reduce the health effects of residents’ exposure to secondhand smoke. Already, 22 of the state’s 47 public housing authorities have implemented smoke-free policies. The health department will continue to support HUD’s smoke-free regulations. In Jefferson County, eight public housing facilities have already adopted smoke-free policies, largely thanks to the collaboration between the Jefferson County Public Health Tobacco Prevention Initiative, Tobacco-Free Jeffco Alliance and the Jefferson County Housing Authority. The Housing Authority was recognized as a 2016 Public Health Champion for its efforts.