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Prince George's County Bans Smoking In Public Housing

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Public housing residents in Prince George's County will soon be forbidden to smoke in communal rooms.
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Public housing residents in Prince George's County will soon be forbidden to smoke in communal rooms.

Public housing residents in Prince George's County will soon be banned from smoking in communal spaces at their residences under a bill passed this summer. Prince George's County Council member Obie Patterson introduced the bill after visiting public housing facilities in his district.

"I noticed that there were some there that had severe respiratory problems," he says. "And actually, I could hardly wait to get outside myself. Once I got inside, the smoke was so heavy and strong. They wanted to know what we could do."

The county's Department of Housing and Community Development is working on guidelines for implementing the ban.

"I envision that we will be advising people that is a violation," says Eric Brown, who directs the department. "And for those people who refuse to adhere, there is the distinct possibility they could face eviction."

A spokesperson for the council says the ban will begin in mid-September, but Brown says it won't be possible until at least the end of the year, partly because leases need to be amended.

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