The federal housing agency, HUD, has been floating the idea of banning smoking inside the apartments they subsidize.
It may seem like an intrusive move, but there is a sound reason backing it up. Mainly, it’s about the health and well-being of kids living with adults who smoke. The effects of second-hand smoke are well documented and it seems inappropriate that HUD would subsidize housing in which the health of children is imperiled.
Worse, kids are like sponges and if they grow up in a household of smokers, chances are they too will become smokers. And that makes having us – taxpayers –spend our money on supporting smokers and encouraging future generations of smokers absurd.
Now we realize that telling folks what they can and can’t consume or do in public housing reeks of Big Brother. After all, smoking is legal and it is legal to smoke where children live.
That may be true but why should taxpayers be forced to subsidize housing as well as future medical costs linked to smoking?
If public housing tenants find a ban on smoking an infringement on their personal rights, well, they are welcomed to move out and find a new home.
There’s no telling if HUD will ever take a step toward a ban on smoking, but the discussion has been sparked. It’s now up to Hamtramck’s Housing Commission to continue this discussion among its tenants.
The Commission just might be surprised to find out that a majority of tenants support such a ban.
By Charles Sercombe