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Reader's View: Smoke-free public housing should be universal

As someone who grew up in public housing, I cannot say enough about how thrilled I am to hear about the HUD-proposed rule to end smoking in public housing everywhere (Other View: “Welcome the end of cigarettes in public housing,” Nov. 23).

There is simply no reason why a child, or anyone else for that matter, who lives in subsidized housing should be exposed to the well-documented dangers and risks of secondhand smoke. Shared buildings mean shared ventilation and air. I’m proud to be part of a community that was a leader in the nation when the Duluth HRA went smoke-free in 2009. I’m also proud to have assisted even more apartments, both market-rate and subsidized, to opt for health and safety and become smoke-free.

Congratulations to all of the Statewide Health Improvement Programs working throughout our region that have helped make smoke-free housing and healthy homes a top priority and, we hope, the new normal for everyone.

Pat McKone


The writer is director of tobacco control programs and policy for the American Lung Association of the Upper Midwest.