The Coming HUD Smoker Holocaust

H/T Lecroix on Facebook for the cartoon.

Following on from my piece about proposals to ban smoking in US public housing, I started wondering today what happened to smokers when they got evicted from public housing. Looking through Jariel’s comments, I found she’d already answered that question:

What happens to a low-income person if they are evicted because they smoke? They become homeless.

And isn’t being homeless a danger to health.? It certainly is. UK study Homelessness kills.

Homeless people are more likely to die young, with an average age of death of
47 years old and even lower for homeless women at 43, compared to 77 for the
general population, 74 for men and 80 for women.

homelessSMRsThe standardized mortality ratio or SMR, is a quantity, expressed as either a ratio or percentage, quantifying the increase or decrease in mortality of a study cohort with respect to the general population. SMRs for the homeless (right) range from 200% to 513%, which means that their age-specific death rates are between 2 and 5 times higher than the same age group in the general population.

Age-specific death rates (ASDRs) for US and Venezuala in 2002:


How many people are in US public housing? Answer:

Across the nation there are 8.7 million residents living in public housing. Over 2.2 million residents live in traditional public housing, and another 6.5 million residents use the Housing Choice Voucher program


There are 3.3 million children under the age of 18 living in public housing, which is approximately 38% of the total population of residents.

31% of residents in public housing and 18% Housing Choice Voucher households include are seniors residents (age 62 and above).

89% of Public Housing residents and 96% Housing Choice Voucher residents fall into HUD’s “Very Low Income” category, with an income of less than 50% of thenational median.

28% of residents smoke compared to 17% of the general population.

28% of the residents amounts to 2.4 million people. But there are likely to be families which are evicted because one or more members of them are smokers. The numbers of evicted will probably be higher than 2.4 million. Most of these smokers will be probably found in the adult resident population.

Given the above figures, if all smokers are evicted from US public housing, at what excess rate can they be expected to die above that expected if they’d kept their homes?

Assuming a guessed mean adult ASDR of about 7/1000, and a guessed mean SMR of 300%, death rates among the homeless will be about 3 x 7 / 1000 or 21/1000, and the excess death rate will be 14/1000, which will amount in the first year to 2.4 million x 14/1000 deaths per annum, or 33,600 excess deaths per annum, mostly found on the streets of US cities.

Eventually, all 2.4 million homeless smokers will be dead. It will be a smoker holocaust, engineered by Tobacco Control with the assistance of HUD, using neither gas chambers nor mass graves, and with the US taxpayer picking up the tab for the disposal of their bodies.

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49 Responses to The Coming HUD Smoker Holocaust

  1. harleyrider1978 says:

    Its funny the government keeps disabled vets at just 300-600 dollars a year above the poverty line just so we cant get food stamps and other aide available to the rest of the folks out there.

    • Joe L. says:

      That’s disgusting, but not surprising.

      Also, last year, I believe the state of Wisconsin passed a law dictating what foods people can and cannot purchase using food stamps. I believe seafood, ketchup, pasta sauce and potatoes were on the forbidden list. I don’t have a source offhand, but simply Google “Wisconsin seafood food stamps” and you’ll find plenty.

      • harleyrider1978 says:

        If I could get all the benies others get plus the VA pension Id be getting about 4000 a month. That would include SSI and foodstamps.

      • rattyariel says:

        Banned SNAP (food stamps) food in Wisconsin:

        Red and yellow potatoes
        Nuts, trail mix, herbs and seasonings
        Jarred spaghetti sauce, soups, salsa or ketchup
        Canned beans (except for green, wax or yellow)
        Cranberry sauce and pie filling
        Creamed vegetables
        Baked beans
        Pork and beans
        Frozen veggies that come in packages featuring pasta, nuts, rice, cheese, or meats
        French fries and hash browns
        Sharp cheddar cheese, Swiss, and fresh mozzarella, shredded and sliced cheeses (except American cheese), cheese food, spreads, and products.
        Kosher cheese (unless you have a special stamp proving you’re Jewish)
        Canned peas and green beans
        Albacore tuna, red salmon, and fish fillets
        Bagels, pita bread, English muffins
        White rice and wild rice
        Taco shells
        Almond, rice, goat, and soy milk.
        Brown eggs and any eggs produced by cage-free or free range chickens
        Several kinds of infant food
        Anything in bulk
        Anything organic or natural

        Oh, lordy, I hope this doesn’t happen in my state… .. by the way, I only get $40 a month in food stamps… (which is more than many disabled seniors get)

  2. harleyrider1978 says:

    Climate change expert sentenced to 32 months for fraud, says lying was a ‘rush’ – NBC News

    The EPA’s highest-paid employee and a leading expert on climate change was…
    Dec 18 2013, 11:38 am ET

    Beale pled guilty in September to bilking the government out of nearly $1 million in salary and other benefits over a decade. He perpetrated his fraud largely by failing to show up at the EPA for months at a time, including one 18-month stretch starting in June 2011 when he did “absolutely no work,” as his lawyer acknowledged in a sentencing memo filed last week.


  3. Tony says:

    Somehow you’d need to factor in all the smokers murdered when having to go out onto the dangerous streets for a smoke. And those that died sooner as a result of a serious assault.

    I think there’s data around showing a shortened life expectancy for people living in uncomfortable accommodation and/or not feeling part of the local community. Perhaps that’s just down to stress but it still kills. Unlike smoking.

    • Frank Davis says:

      factor in all the smokers murdered when having to go out onto the dangerous streets for a smoke

      Well, being “exiled to the outdoors” is a form of slight homelessness. People are made to step outside when they don’t want to. There are people who are probably spending several hours a day outdoors in order to smoke. So maybe spending 3 hours a day outdoors is equivalent to 3/24 of complete homelessness, and SMRs should be accordingly adjusted to give slightly increased mortality ratios for them.

      After all, this is the way TC works, taking slightly increased risk factors for millions of people, and extracting some number of deaths.

  4. dear frank, i am a smoker who lives in assisted housing also known as section eight housing. If this ban is used i am one of the people who will probably be forced to quit at least in my apartment. I resent anyone telling me i cant even smoke in my apt. as far as i am cocerned this rule sets a dangerous precedent. and i will survrve though i may not like it. when this is seen for what it really is the people whom were responsible will simply hide in the woodwork,like they always do or try to say but.but we were only trying to help.. the proper response will be get a rope here one of them right here.then start the revolution right then. i may not be alive to see it but i will look down from on high and smile as the anti s fell the long pent up anger of joe public. thanks for letting me vent. now i know how ann frank must have felt. and they said it could not happen here. well it is happening now here in the good old united states of AMERICA. thank you and good night. yours truly, / Raymond T.Barfoot

  5. Lepercolonist says:

    Maybe HUD will take a lesson from the USSR and gulags will be created in Alaska for the smokers. Modern day smoker dissidents that did not follow the party line will be sent by train to Barrow, Alaska. The land of freedom. It would be nice to see Obama coddle the smokers like he does for muslims. For the sake of humanity.

  6. Smoking Lamp says:

    The ban of smoking in public housing is an affront to liberty, an assault on the poor, and unnecessary since there is essentially no risk to others from second hand smoke. This draconian ban must be resisted.

    • Frank Davis says:

      It will also kill evicted smokers.

      • harleyrider1978 says:

        89-Year-Old Kicked Out of HUD Housing for Smoking Cigarettes
        Beulah Toombs, an 89-year-old resident of Ohio, is being forced out of her home for refusing to quit smoking. Toombs lives in Cincinnati’s AHEPA 127 Apartments, a building for low-income seniors whose rent is subsidized by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

        According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, building residents were given one year to quit smoking when the building went totally smoke-free in 2013. Toombs refused. “I don’t think so,” she told the Enquirer. “This is my home, and I think you can do whatever you want to in your home.”

        Clearly, Beulah is a badass (and a healthy one at that—the Enquirer reports that despite her lifelong cigarette habit, Toombs is in remarkably good health). But badassery is frowned on by building management, who deemed Toombs “non-compliant” after maintenance workers spotted ashtrays and cigarette butts in her apartment and another resident reported seeing a lighter and cigarette inside. Toombs is now being forced to evacuate by the end of April.

        “My mom is getting older, and this is causing her so much stress,” her daughter, Mary Ann Burgoyne, told the Enquirer. “She kept telling me that she was paying her rent. She was a little confused. She thought they might put her in a debtors prison.”

        Burgoyne approached a senior-advocacy group for help, but said they declined, saying her mom should quit smoking.

        The group probably couldn’t have done much anyway—and that’s somewhat as it should be. Toombs’ apartment building is private property, and owners are free to impose whatever rules they like on tenants who choose to live there. If tenants don’t like the rules, they’re free to move somewhere else, as Toombs is doing. “This is the free market at its best,” one commenter on the Enquirer article wrote.

        I wouldn’t go that far. Private properties subsidized by the government aren’t exactly “free market.” Toombs’ building is part of a national network of HUD-subsidized AHEPA apartment buildings for low-income seniors.

        HUD doesn’t have the authority to force subsidized but privately-owned apartments buildings to go smoke-free. But it has been encouraging them to do so. Since 2010, HUD has been sending notices to property owners pressuring them to implement smoke-free housing policies.

        When the folks in charge of your financing strongly suggest something, that’s a strong incentive to do it. I’d wager many low-income buildings wouldn’t be instituting no-smoking policies if it weren’t for HUD butting in.

        At Toombs’ building, it doesn’t seem like residents were calling for the change. “I have been in this apartment bulding many times as my Mother lived there before she passed away a year ago this March,” Trisha Dufresne commented on the Enquirer article. “It is very clean and you can’t smell the smoke from inside the tenants apartments, so no one is really getting second hand smoke.”

        Good thing HUD was around to stop the menace of an old lady unobtrusively smoking within the confines of her apartment!

        More proof that government will use any particular power you grant it (in Toombs’ case, by living in subsidized housing) as an excuse to reach into totally unrelated areas of your life. But hey, I mean, people should quit smoking anyway, right? I’m sure Toombs will be comforted through her stressful move knowing HUD was just trying to help her.

  7. margo says:

    How would they police this? How would they know if someone smokes in an apartment?

    • Joe L. says:

      Good question, Margo. I perused 4-5 pages of comments on, and I noticed a handful of comments from owners of public housing buildings in opposition to the ban, claiming that due to recent cuts in funding, they have had to scale back their payroll, thus it would be practically impossible to enforce the ban, because for every complaint, they would need an employee to physically inspect people’s residences looking for “evidence” of smoking (cigarette butts, used ashtrays, etc.).

    • rattyariel says:

      “How would they police this? How would they know if someone smokes in an apartment?”
      Margo, that’s an excellent question. If ANYONE – tenant, visitor, staff – tells the building manager, “I smell cigarette smoke,” well, the building manager knows who the smokers are, and she will use the “I smell cigarette smoke” complaint as a handy excuse to knock on your door and enter your apartment (if you’re not home she’ll enter anyway, using her master key) and do a sniff test. THIS ALREADY HAPPENS. If you fail her sniff test, she will call you into her office and give you a warning, which means she’ll come sniff again in 10 days and if she smells (or thinks she smells) cig smoke, you’ll get another warning. Three warnings equals a lease violation. Three lease violations, you’re evicted. After the smoking ban comes into effect (which, oh, God, I hope it doesn’t) she will also search for cigarette butts, ashtrays with, um, ash in them, etc.

      Our building manager happens to be a fanatic anti, whose sniffer is frighteningly highly developed. Sigh.

      A nearby HUD building houses people of all ages, including children and seniors. They have had a property-wide smoking ban for about a year now. They now have unannounced random inspections. And the kids are encouraged to report the smell of cigarettes in the building, and THEY DO. My aide has an elderly, extremely disabled, mobility-impaired client who lives in that building, who is one smoking violation away from being evicted. She has insomnia and is afraid to walk outside the property (which, because of her disability, takes her about 20 minutes), in a dangerous neighborhood, to the vacant lot across the street, in the middle of the night, for a smoke. She was ratted out by kids on her floor.

      There are also some people in HUD buildings – well, in any kind of apartment situation – who love to complain about stuff, who love to stir up drama. I know there are people in my building who smell cigarette smoke when there is absolutely nothing to smell, and they are quite vocal – and nasty – about it. I can foresee even non-smoking people getting evicted for “smoking” because of vindictive complainers.

      • nisakiman says:

        Maybe you should start a campaign of anonymous ‘snitches’, but targeting anti-smokers who tell tales. If they are constantly inundated with unfounded complaints, they may stop bothering to check.

        • garyk30 says:

          Indeed, let them get banished to the streets also!!!

        • harleyrider1978 says:

          You know that’s a hell of an idea,start stalking the enemy locally. Watch them see where they go,what they do. Might even luck out and catch one buying dope or making a bribe to a city official.

  8. Clicky says:

  9. harleyrider1978 says:


    It says everything about the anti-smoking mindset that there are people who instead of celebrating the life of a remarkable showman/artist can’t wait to comment – indirectly – on that person’s lifestyle and attack those who believe everyone should have the freedom to make informed choices.

    I don’t know what caused the cancer that killed Bowie – perhaps he was just unlucky – and on this of all days it seems inappropriate and distasteful to even speculate.

    But I do know this. Bowie made the most of his 69 years and if that included a tendency to take risks (personally and professionally) without harming anyone else then it was no-one’s business but his own.

    If you celebrate someone’s life you have to celebrate everything about them because that’s who they were.

    Meanwhile spare us from the sanctimonious puritans who would have us all live ‘healthy’ risk free lives.

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      Spare us from the sanctimonious puritans who would have us all live risk free lives

      DateMonday, January 11, 2016 at 11:50

      I’ve just seen an email sent to Forest.

      Subject heading: ‘David Bowie’.

      It reads:

      Keep up your good work :(

      Oddly enough someone with the same name wrote to the Guardian in 2001 following the death of George Harrison.

      The original letter doesn’t seem to be online but it generated this response:

      I think x will find it is beagles who are forced to smoke, not Beatles.

      There may be a gap of 15 years but I’m guessing the email and letter were written by the same person.

      It says everything about the anti-smoking mindset that there are people who instead of celebrating the life of a remarkable showman/artist can’t wait to comment – indirectly – on that person’s lifestyle and attack those who believe everyone should have the freedom to make informed choices.

    • Rose says:

      He died of liver cancer according to Channel 4 news, with Lemmy it was apparently brain cancer.

  10. harleyrider1978 says:
    • Joe L. says:

      They say death comes in threes. Well, the past month has been a sad month for rock ‘n’ roll. We’ve lost three amazing singers/songwriters/entertainers who also smoked cigarettes:

      Scott Weiland
      Lemmy Kilmister
      David Bowie

      The world is a more enjoyable place thanks to you. Rest in peace.

  11. harleyrider1978 says:

    Bingo paid for this.

  12. harleyrider1978 says:

    Shanghai, China

    Cigarettes sold in Shanghai before World War Two.

  13. harleyrider1978 says:

    Secret service witnessed Obama praying to Mecca five times a day

  14. garyk30 says:

    “or 33,600 excess deaths per annum, mostly found on the streets of US cities.”

    HUD and the antis will claim it is the peoples’ own fault, their smoking, and thus eviction, was their choice.

  15. Scott Ewing says:

    I am so glad I never got mixed up with Section-8 for my rentals. I would have gotten more money per month, but not at the cost of my soul. As the saying goes: I got 99 problems, but HUD ain’t one of them.

    • beobrigitte says:

      Glad to hear that! I’m in the same position. Giving smokers preference – the only stipulation I have is: It will be your home. Please treat it as such.
      Works a treat! My property is becoming more desirable by the day – except the people who rent ain’t gonna leave. And I’ll stick with them.

  16. beobrigitte says:

    Homeless people are more likely to die young, with an average age of death of
    47 years old and even lower for homeless women at 43, compared to 77 for the
    general population, 74 for men and 80 for women.

    I can already see the BBC loudly and proudly announcing that SMOKING KILLed these people.

    Eventually, all 2.4 million homeless smokers will be dead. It will be a smoker holocaust, engineered by Tobacco Control with the assistance of HUD, using neither gas chambers nor mass graves, and with the US taxpayer picking up the tab for the disposal of their bodies.
    In a round-about way, yes. Isn’t it the “chain-gangs” who dig the graves and bury the homeless?

    Sadly, I do know of one eviction because of smoking:
    He did ask the simple question: “What happened to ‘respect your elders’ and all those years of contribution to society?”
    God knows. At least the rabid anti-smokers will age, too. That if they aren’t dropping dead running a marathon, or are being hit by a car, or walk in front of a tram, or drown deep-sea diving, or……
    We all know, smokers aren’t going to kill them!!!!
    Seit dem 1. Mai 2013 gilt in NRW ein neues Nichtraucherschutzgesetz, seitdem gibt es in Restaurants und Kneipen keine Raucherbereiche mehr. Wirte protestieren, Raucher trinken ihr Bierchen zuhause, das Ordnungsamt und militante Nichtraucher laufen Patrouille und melden Verstöße.
    [Since 1 May 2013 Nordrhein Westfalien applies a new Non-smoker Protection Law; Since then there is a smoking ban in restaurants and pubs. The pub/restaurant owners are protesting as smokers began to drink their beer at home, and the authorities and militant anti-smokers patrol and report violations.]
    What other people (the ones actually living on this EARTH!) thought?
    In seinem Viertel schütteln Menschen Adolfs die Hand und sagen, lass dir nichts gefallen, kämpfe weiter. Einige wollten sogar ein Autogramm, und im letzten Sommer hing ein Plakat an der Wand des Mehrparteienhauses. Darauf stand: “Ein freundlicher Raucher ist uns lieber als ein intoleranter Nichtraucher, der mit seiner Muffigkeit den Hausfrieden verpestet. Halte durch, Friedhelm!”
    [In his neighborhood people shake Adolf’s hands and say, don’t let them get to you, keep fighting. Some even wanted an autograph, and last summer there was poster hung on the wall of apartment building. It read: ” We’d rather have a friendly Smoker than an intolerant anti-smoker, who pollutes with its mustiness domestic peace in the building. Persevere Friedhelm.”]

    Sadly, the 75 year old Friedhelm Adolfs lost in court despite his supporters turning up in court wearing “Wir sind Helmut” buttons.
    (Helmut Schmidt, former Bundeskanzler, died 2015 prematurely at the age of 96 [about 6 weeks from his 97th birthday!] from smoking almost all his life!)
    Eine Firma schickte ihm einen Luftreiniger, sie wollte kein Geld dafür. Fremde boten ihm eine Wohnung an und versprachen, dort könne er soviel rauchen, wie er wolle.
    [A company sent an air cleaner, it didn’t charge Herr Adolfs. Strangers offered Herr Adolfs a flat and promised that he could smoke there as much as he wants to.]

    Ich bin Helmut. Wir, mit einem Gewissen, sind Helmut. [I am Helmut. We all with a conscience ARE Helmut.]
    (I just don’t want to have to hang around the smoker-
    hating anti-smokers that long!!!!)

    Sadly, this rented housing smoking ban hits the most vulnerable members of all our communities the most – OLD PEOPLE! The ones who no longer are able to defend themselves. Tobacco Control better hangs it’s head in shame!!! They are repulsive creatures.

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