EVMS to study smoking ban in public housing

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — How would you react to the government telling you that you can’t smoke in your home? Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS) is embarking on a three-year study to find out.

A new Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) rule requires that all public housing developments be smoke free by August 2018.

EVMS has been awarded a $504,592 grant from HUD’s Healthy Homes Technical Studies Program to study the implementation of this new rule. They will be talking with residents in focus groups, surveys and monitoring air quality in common areas.

Andrew Plunk, PhD., an EVMS researcher, told WAVY.com, “If you have neighbors who smoke, that smoke travels between units and that can create a health hazard for some people — children with asthma for instance — we know that’s a trigger for them.”

Dr. Plunk explained that part of the study will determine how people perceive their neighbors health versus their own right to smoke in their home. It will also help them better understand how smoke free housing should be implemented.

Dr. Plunk is excited. He says, “It gives EVMS an opportunity to inform national policy.”