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Clarion County Housing Authority Ahead of the Game with Smoking Ban in Public Housing

Thursday, August 16, 2018 @ 12:08 AM

Posted by Blane Gold

hill_side_06CLARION, Pa. (EYT) – On July 31, the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development’s ban on smoking in public housing took effect across the United States.

While the ban does not prohibit smokers from utilizing public housing, it does ban the use of cigarettes, cigars, and pipes inside and within 25 feet of the housing buildings.

Electronic cigarettes have not been banned as of yet, and marijuana is still illegal under federal law and has already been prohibited in public housing in states where the drug is legal.

(Pictured above: Hillside Apartments located at Robinwood Drive in Clarion.)

The federal agency cites second-hand smoke as the primary reason for enacting the ban. They specifically cited protecting children from second-hand smoke as the main driving force behind the legislation.

More than 600 public housing agencies had actually already banned smoking in their buildings. The July 31st date served as the date that every housing agency in America had to jump on board in enacting the legislation. reached out to Penny Campbell, who serves as the Clarion County Housing Authority (CCHA) Director, to see what the response has been around the county in the two weeks since the ban went into effect.

Campbell said that it has been smooth sailing noting that CCHA actually implemented their own smoking ban nearly three years ago.

“We enacted the ban in October of 2015 because HUD was very much recommending that we head this direction. We knew if they were recommending it, then it was going to eventually become mandatory. So, we decided to get started early and informed all of our residents in 2014 that the ban would go into effect in a year’s time.”

According to Campbell, it has been a successful transition.

“We have received nothing but positive feedback, and we are very happy with the results. While the main concerns dealt with concerns with second-hand smoke, we have also noticed that it has been a bit easier to turn over apartments when residents move out. For example, we may get away with being able to put one coat of fresh paint on a wall instead of multiple coats that we used to have to do when smokers moved out.”

Campbell also said that CCHA offered classes in association with Clarion County Drug and Alcohol for those who may have been interested in quitting smoking.

While it was estimated that some 228,000 housing units across the country had already been declared smoke-free like CCHA’s units, more than 940,000 units had no ban in place before the July 31st deadline.

The Clarion County Housing Authority owns and manages five housing developments that consist of a total of 178 apartments for low and very low-income residents. For more information, visit

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