HUD Proposes Rule to Make Public Housing Smoke-Free

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Statement attributable to:
Robert Wergin, MD, FAAFP
Board Chair
American Academy of Family Physicians

“Today, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced a proposed rule( to make public housing properties smoke-free.

“Do not underestimate what this proposed rule could do for public health. This is a huge step in the right direction. Everyone -- and I mean everyone -- has the right to live in a smoke-free environment.

“Despite everything we know about the dangers of smoking, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that cigarette smoking causes about one in five deaths in the United States every year. The CDC estimates that in 2011-2012, about 58 million nonsmokers in the United States were exposed to secondhand smoke. These statistics are absolutely unacceptable. Secondhand smoke is a huge health hazard, and the idea that anyone would have to inhale it simply because of where they live is outrageous.

“We need action. We need more smoke-free environments, and that’s why the American Academy of Family Physicians fully supports the proposed rule to make public housing properties smoke-free.”

Editor's Note: To arrange an interview with Dr. Wergin, contact Megan Moriarty, 800-274-2237, Ext. 5223, or


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