Housing Smoking Ban Goes Into Effect July 1

HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) -- A new smoking policy goes into effect for some Harrisonburg buildings.

"It's definitely a good thing if we can get people to realize that smoking is not only bad for your health,” said Lt. Wanda Willis with the city's fire department.

It's also bad for buildings and those around us. Willis said no smoking policies like the one going into effect with the Harrisonburg Redevelopment and Housing Authority are good for the community.

"We have had so many fires from smoking. We talk about smoking as bad for your health, but it is still one of the leading causes of people dying in house fires," she said.

Though the policy faced some initial push back when introduced last fall, some people living in one affected apartment complex said they're glad it's going into effect.

"I ended up with a breathing problem from secondhand smoke, so I think its a good policy,” shared Donna Gant.

She has lived in one of the complexes with the new policy going into place since March.

As the executive director of the authority explained earlier this year, the smoking ban on this property is aimed at protecting her and others living here.

"With those significant respiratory issues they may have, secondhand smoke exasperates their condition," said executive director for the Harrisonburg Redevelopment and Housing Authority, Michael Wong.

The new policy for the authority goes into effect July 1. We're told tenants who are caught violating the no smoking policy may be evicted.


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