Smoke-free policy in Lancaster’s public housing starts Oct. 1

LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM) – Robert Schellhamer quit smoking a little more than 30 years ago.

“I quit countless times before 1986,” he said.

Schellhamer is now the executive director of Lancaster’s Public Housing Authority. On Oct. 1, more than 560 units he oversees will be just like him: smoke-free.

Federal requirements demand all public housing be smoke-free by July 31, 2018. The use of tobacco products and electronic cigarettes will not be allowed inside or in any common areas outside.

Schellhamer said residents will get four strikes before they get an eviction notice. He said he hopes everyone will realize sometime in the next year that they can’t smoke in Lancaster’s public housing.

Ruth Hendryx smokes and lives in the city’s public housing. She said some of her friends will try to hide their tobacco use, but she hopes this is the push she needs for a healthier lifestyle.

“I’m ready to quit and maybe this will push me more toward quitting,” she said.

The city plans to supply more smoking cessation materials to residents.

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