If you live in public housing and enjoy smoking a good cigar or a weed joint after dinner, you may be facing eviction.
Smoking will be banned in public housing nationwide when a Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) regulation goes into effect next year.
The new rule will affect more than 1.2 million households, according to HUD officials.
The ban will have its biggest effect in New York City, where the Housing Authority oversees 178,000 apartments housing 400,000 mostly black and Hispanic residents.
The New York agency unsuccessfully begged HUD to give them three years to "phase in" a smoking ban.
THe new rule forbids smoking cigarettes, cigars, marijuana, pipes, hookahs (or water pipes) -- but not e-cigarettes -- in all apartments, indoor common areas, administrative offices, or 25 feet from the exterior of any public housing development anywhere in the continental United States, including Hawaii and Alaska.
Critics of Obama's smoking ban see the new rule as an excuse to aggressively evict problematic residents.
Public Advocate Letitia James said she's concerned about “aggressive enforcement” of the smoking ban. Especially after the public uproar over the NYPD's old Stop & Frisk policies.
“I’m concerned about reversing all the progress that we have made in this city, and the healing that we have been able to do ... between police and NYPD,” James said.
But a HUD official dismissed those concerns.
“The last thing that we want are evictions,” said HUD secretary Julián Castro, in a call to reporters.
“We’re confident that public-housing authority staff can work with residents so that [evictions] can be avoided.”