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smoke freeOn February 3, 2017, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced the “Instituting Smoke-Free Public Housing Rule.” The use of all lit tobacco products and hookahs (water pipes) inside all units, common areas, Public Housing Authority (PHA) administrative offices, and in all areas within 25 feet of a building is prohibited. PHAs must fully implement the smoke-free policy by July 30, 2018. Learn more about the rule here.

To help North Carolina public housing to prepare, the N.C. Tobacco Prevention and Control Branch has rolled out a series of webinars for public housing and public health professionals.

“We in public health have the knowledge about the serious health hazards of secondhand and thirdhand smoke, and on resources available to help public housing residents who need assistance quitting tobacco use,” said Pam Diggs, TPCB Director of Local Programs and Regulations. “Our understanding of tobacco use as an addiction and that those with less resources are most targeted by tobacco advertising enhances our skills to hold listening sessions that help residents prepare for this big change. That’s why we want to help our neighbors prepare and implement this important new health regulation in a way that involve community engagement principles.”

The most recent webinar reached almost 60 participants and was aimed at public housing professionals. “Implementing Smoke-Free Housing Policies in North Carolina,” held Tuesday, March 14, can be viewed by registering here.

Previous webinar recordings and slides on engaging communities in this process can be downloaded here; just scroll down the page to see them. The upcoming webinar on Motivational Interviewing will be Friday, April 7 from 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Register here.

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