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Should HUD ban vaping in public housing?

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So many government agencies and so little time. Now that we are making headway in the battle against the FDA, HUD wants to come in and get their piece of the proverbial vaping pie. Unless you have been hiding under a rock in the past few weeks, then you’ve likely heard the latest new story that the U.S, Department of Housing and Urban Development wants to ban vaping and e-cigs in government foundered public housing. Don’t they have bigger fish to fry?

Rather than banning vaping and e-cigs, shouldn’t they focus their energies into illegal drug use, illegal possession of firearms, teenage pregnancy, or helping the millions of Americans with mental health issues? According to a November 17, 2015 report in Forbes Magazine, over 70% of all public housing is inhabited by the elderly, the physically handicapped, or the mentally challenged. And roughly 80% of the mentally ill smoke tobacco cigarettes.

Forbes is quick to point out that without access to cigarettes, e-cigs, or vaping devices, the mentally challenged may begin experiencing more aggressive psychiatric symptoms. Is this something that we really want to happen? Shouldn’t we be offering more financial and medical support to this often-forgotten segment of the American population? According to a Tech Times article of this same week, over 20% of public housing complexes in the United States are already banning smoking, vaping, and e-cigs voluntarily. That’s about 200,000 households or around 600 individual housing agencies.

The New York Times seems to wonder if this proposed vaping ban is the best use of the American taxpayers’ dollars. According to a November 12, 2015 story, enforcing a smoke-free environment inside tens of thousands of individual apartment units would be nearly impossible, if not extremely costly. HUD is already extremely overburdened as it is. In New York alone, there are some 178,000 apartments with more than 400,000 residents. Who is going to enforce the new prohibition legislation? The NYPD? Not likely!

On the other side of the coin, HUD is trying to cut down on the negative health issues that can come from second-hand smoke. While this is an admiral notion, what does this have to do with vaping or e-cigs? Once again, ill-informed political officials are trying to pass laws that are based on myths and misinformation rather than logic and scientific fact. Vaping does not produce second-hand smoke. So, why target the vaping community who is filling your coffers with millions of dollars in new tax revenue?

(Courtesy of Forbes Magazine)

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