Hazleton Housing Authority Bans Smoking at Public Housing

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HAZLETON, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) Residents of public housing in one part of Luzerne County will soon have to leave the building if they want to light up. The Hazleton Housing Authority is placing a no smoking policy in effect on January first. The I-Team’s Andy Mehalshick has the story

 Federal officials have been pushing for a ban on smoking in all public housing since 2009 and are expected to make it mandatory within the next year. The Hazleton Housing Authority says it wants to get out ahead of that nationwide ban and will help its residents deal with it.

Eyewitness News  stopped by the senior Vine Manor apartments in Hazleton Thursday and found some of its residents outside having a smoke.

Come January first they will have no choice but to light up out here. Smoking will not be allowed in their apartments.

Robert Beterly told us he is not moving out but instead will look to try to kick the habit.

Pamela Kistler on the the other hand doesn’t think it’s fair to smokers .

Federal housing officials have been pushing for the no smoking ban in publicly funded housing since 2009. They say it’s a health and safety risk for residents.

Hazleton Housing authority managers say they know it won’t be easy for some of their residents

.Dorothy George is the Executive Director of the Hazleton Housing AuthoritY she says “We will  help our residents to quit smoking if that’s what they choose to do. However there are some who will continue to smoke and they will have to smoke 25 feet away.”

Ron Pusaver is a non smoker… he says he understands how tough it could be for his neighbors who smoke. a

 Officials say they understand that the ban will be a bit difficult to enforce.

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