American Lung Association

The American Lung Association’s Smoke Free Public Housing Initiative will receive $1,500,000 over 18 months to develop a comprehensive approach to supporting the implementation of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) new smoke-free public housing rule across 10 states. ALA will provide technical assistance supports that will ensure PHAs finalize and implement the smoke free housing in a manner which maximizes staff and resident compliance, and, it will utilize a peer based system of education and support among PHA resident case managers, to link residents to nearby smoking cessation and lung screening programs.


Residents of HUD-owned public housing are among the most disadvantaged people in the United States. As a group, they experience a disproportionate burden of social stress, environmental contaminants and disease. Unlike more affluent individuals, public housing residents have few options to relocate if they find themselves living in conditions that make someone in the household sick. For many residents of multi-unit housing, tobacco smoke circulating freely throughout entire buildings is a serious, unavoidable threat to their health and well-being. In 2016, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) issued a historic ruling instituting a smoke free policy in all public housing buildings that presents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to create healthier home environments for nearly two million people living in more than 3,100 Public Housing Agencies (PHAs) by reducing the costs and devastation caused by tobacco related diseases. 


ALA’s Smoke free Public Housing Initiative’s primary goal is to leverage PHA residents as trusted peers to successfully implement the HUD smoke free housing rule to improve health outcomes for people living with lung cancer in low income housing facilities. The Lung Association will provide technical assistance informed by a needs assessment conducted with each individual PHA. The Lung Association will develop a document outlining technical assistance that can be provided to PHAs in each state, to serve as a framework for individualized needs assessments and in addition, work to increase referral to lung cancer screening programs.

Project Leader

Seth Montague,