Lighting up a cigarette inside Nashville's seven affordable housing high-rise towers is now a thing of the past.
The change, effective on Sept. 1, has encouraged make some big life improvements, but not everyone support the new smoking ban.
To help residents in the transition, the Metropolitan Housing and Development Agency started a program recently to help residents stop smoking.
Resident Walter Ozment said he smoked two packs a day for 46 years, but MDHA's program finally helped him quit the habit.
"The Metro Health Service came over and did a 12-week program, and so I went. I quit smoking in the 11th week. I just threw them down, cold turkey," said Ozment.
A year and half ago about 1,200 residents first received word of the change by letter.
Long-time smoker Frank Ferguson said he moved into one of the buildings because of the smoke-free environment.
"I don't want anybody around me that smoked, because if they smoke, you are going to eventually start back smoking," said Ferguson.
"Kitchen fires and smoking fires are one of the biggest issues that we have to deal with in our elderly and disabled properties. In an effort to improve the health of our residents and keep a safe living environment, we decided to institute this policy," said MDHA Director of Communications Mark Drury.
Under the new policy, residents don't have to stop smoking, but if they want to light up, they'll have to come outside and go to a designated area.
"I don't like the idea of you telling me what I can and can't do in my own home," said Fred Hollins, a resident at Parthenon Towers.
But Ozment said it's a change that's benefited his health and bank account.
"I really don't like the rule, but it's the new era. The new normal," said Ozment.
The no smoking inside policy is now part of each resident's lease who lives in MDHA high-rise buildings.
A violation could lead to eviction.
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