PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — State health officials say that all public housing authorities in Rhode Island have implemented smoke-free policies.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development required that all public housing authorities have a smoke-free policy in place by this past Tuesday, July 31, to protect residents, visitors and staff from secondhand smoke.

The Rhode Island Department of Health says all 25 public housing authorities are in compliance. Smoking is not allowed anywhere inside public housing or near the outside of the buildings, to help prevent smoke from drifting indoors.

Health Department Director Nicole Alexander-Scott says many housing authorities have taken extra steps to listen to smokers' concerns and help connect those who want to quit with free cessation programs.

Residents who smoke are asked to smoke outside, beyond established buffer zones.