Public Housing Vaping Should Not Be Banned


Ever since the Department of Housing and Urban Development or HUD announced about its intended public housing smoking ban, many have expressed how the inclusion of public housing vaping to the new rules would not work.

Sally Satel is one of them whose recent American Enterprise Institute article explained why the public housing ban should not be allowed. The plan will affect over 700,000 public housing units; 500,000 and more units of which are occupied by elderly households or disabled younger people. The 60-day public comment period for the plan has already started.

There are Implications Calling For Utmost Consideration

The health reasons for public smoking ban is understandable, but there are implications to smokers that deserve consideration.

Disproportionately housed in public facilities are disabled individuals, mentally ill, the recently homeless and extremely low income people, who were also found to have high smoking prevalence. About 50% of mentally ill people are smokers and 80% of homeless people are also smokers. Access to cigarettes particularly helps mentally ill people in managing their symptoms. From recent CDC report, it was established that 29.1% of Medicaid recipients and 27.9% of uninsured people smoke while 12.9% of privately insured people smoke. Disabled patients who have impaired mobility are typically house bound and the new rule’s 25-feet no smoking perimeter will be an additional burden for these people.

If Only Electronic Cigarettes Are Allowed, these people would be able to deal with the smoking ban. While the vaping ban is not included in the smoking ban per se, HUD still encourages Public Housing Authorities that already have smoke-free policies in considering if ENDS would be included or not.

If they ever consider imposing a public housing vaping ban, Satel said that they should reject it. Vaping must not be prohibited inside one’s apartment and in the designated common outside areas. Some of the best companies known for the Vaping devices is Vaporesso. Vaporesso are premier innovators of vape hardware and have high quality vape mods as well as tanks. These are known for their premium quality e-cigarettes. 

Alternative For Changing Long Standing Habits

I order to change long standing habits, people need to be provided with alternatives, Satel argued. There are certainly patches and guns available to smokers, but officials should remain obstinate in insisting that these are the only tools smokers should use because these products have high fail rates. About 80-90% of people who try them do not succeed at quitting smoking so they need a far better lower risk option of ecigarettes.

Vapor products contain no tobacco and do not burn tobacco. Without combustion, they produce no cancer-causing tar. Ecigs, instead contain propylene glycol, but the long term effects of inhaling it is not yet known. The short and intermediate effects of vaping are negligible and non-existent. Lung and cardiovascular health risks from ecigs are far less low than combustible cigarettes.

These sub-groups would be hit hard by the vaping ban, which would fly in the faces of federal government officials touting a commitment in reducing health disparities. The official stand of HUD on the issue of vaping has not been made known, but the document for its proposed rule present a worrisome description that “The aerosol from ENDS typically contains nicotine derived from tobacco plants, and may contain other hazardous and potentially hazardous constituents such as formaldehyde and lead.”

ENDS have nicotine, but do not pose dangers to bystanders. Furthermore, the levels of lead and formaldehyde are also not biologically harmful. Yet, the two studies that HUD mentioned to support the presence of toxins are selective. Interestingly, the document did not include three recent studies that toxins in ecig vapor are not detectable or are only present in low concentrations far lower than 1/20 of cigarette smoke.

Vaping In One’s Apartment

The anti-vaping policies will be unenforceable because no tell-tale signs will be noticed in the hallways. Not allowed to vape, many will remain smoking as there are no meaningful consequences because HUD said it will not evict smokers.