First day of smoking ban drives Manchester's housing residents outdoors to light up
All complained about the steady morning rain and said the housing authority should provide a smoking shelter, something the executive director has ruled out.
“I hate it,” she said about the ban. “There’s nothing you can do to stay dry.”
“I hate it,” said William E. Davis, 70, who by noon had gone outside four times to smoke a cigarette outside the Kalivas high-rise. “I’ve been smoking for 50 years, for Chrissake. All of a sudden they’re going to take it away from me?”
The new rules prohibit smoking on balconies and within 25 feet of apartment complex entrances. The new regulations make no mention of e-cigarettes, so they are permissible, according to Dick Dunfey, executive director of the housing authority.
“I’ve got asthma problems, so I’m glad,” he said.
According to the New Hampshire Tobacco Prevention and Control Program, only three of the state’s 15 public housing agencies still allow smoking in individual apartments — Nashua, Concord and Somersworth.
Many people who live in public housing have serious health problems, she said.
For smokers driven outside, some apartment complexes are more equal than others.
At Kalivas, smokers can only use a lawn picnic table, and it has no shelter.
At O’Malley, Bob Blondeau, 62, said he would have preferred to see smoking rights remain for existing residents. And he’d like to see a shelter. But the tenant of three years said he sees himself as a guest, and he has to go by the rules.
“It’s going to be very hard,” he said. “It’s a matter of putting it on and going for it.”
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