BOSTON, Oct. 12 (UPI) -- About 25,000 residents of Boston public housing will be getting letters telling them their buildings will be smoke-free starting in 2012, city officials said.
Residents will have to agree to the policy when they sign their annual leases, The Boston Globe reported Wednesday.
City officials said the policy is intended to protect non-smokers, particularly children, from secondhand smoke.
"We feel this is in the best interests of our residents," Boston Housing Authority spokeswoman Lydia Agro said. "When you have buildings with multiple apartments next to each other, there is no way to contain the smoke."
The federal Department of Housing and Urban Development has approved the smoking ban, Agro said.
Boston will be the largest public housing authority in the nation to adopt a system-wide ban on smoking in its properties, the Globe said.