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Smoke Free Housing

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The Wichita Falls Housing Authority will be implementing a Smoke-Free policy on all of their buildings effective April 1, 2014. The Smoke-Free policy has been a year in the making.

"We implemented a committee with employees, residents different people we got different opinions," said Executive Director for the Wichita Falls Housing Authority, Donna Piper.

Residents will not be allowed to smoke inside or outside their apartments and public areas.  However, there will be designated smoking areas.

"We've set up benches and we've set up smoking areas that people can go that are away from our buildings at the end of our property line. These areas will help people that absolutely cannot quit smoking," said Piper.

A lot of the non smoking residents within the Wichita Falls Housing Authority are who helped ignite the Smoke-Free policy.

"Some of our non-smoking residents complain of their neighbors smoking because of inhaling the smoke comes through the vents.  It's really a health concern," said Resident Compliant Specialist for the Wichita Falls Housing Authority, Paris Ward.

New residents who come to the Wichita Falls Housing Authority after April 1st will have a sign on their door stating "Thank You for Not Smoking".

"For existing residents, as they go through what's called their recertification, they will sign the re-certification paperwork and they will become a smoke- free household.  At that time, they will receive a sign posted on their door, "said Ward.

"The Smoke-Free policy is not just primary smoking, but it's also to prevent people who are around others who smoke from inhaling that second hand smoke which leads to the same consequences as primary smoke," said Program Manager for Transforming Texas, Wichita Falls Health Department,"  William Carter.

The Smoke-Free policy eliminates all smoking and tobacco products, like, cigarettes, E-cigarettes and chewing tobacco.

With the help of United Regional Hospital, the Wichita Falls Housing Authority is offering the tools to help those who want to quit smoking by offering Cessation programs available for all residents.

Taylor Barnes, Newschannel 6