The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced today that e-cigarettes will not be included in its ban on smoking in publicly funded housing. Originally announced in 2015, the HUD ban aims to lower building maintenance fees and health care costs linked with tobacco use. Other devices that do not involve the lighting of tobacco leaves, such as hookahs, also are allowed under the new ruling.
The following statement from Jesse Hathaway, a budget policy expert at The Heartland Institute – a free-market think tank – may be used for attribution. For more comments, refer to the contact information below. To book a Heartland guest on your program, please contact Director of Communications Jim Lakely at [email protected] and 312/377-4000 or (cell) 312/731-9364.
“The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) final rule on cigarette use in taxpayer-funded housing is a mixed bag, but it is encouraging that bureaucrats in the federal government realized that tobacco and e-cigarettes are not the same thing. E-cigarette use does not create the same externalities as tobacco use, because there are no tobacco leaves burning, so it would not have made sense to ban e-cigarette use in the name of public health, as some local and state governments have incorrectly decided to do. Ideally, HUD would not ban tobacco use in the taxpayer-funded housing units, but excluding e-cigarettes from a ban on tobacco is definitely a step in the right direction for the federal government.”