AUGUSTA — The Maine State Housing Authority is imposing a new smoke-free policy in all future units, making Maine the first state to require protection of tenants from secondhand smoke in new units

The agency, also known as MaineHousing, says all future units built and financed by the state’s Low Income Housing Tax Credit will be required to be 100 percent smoke-free.

MaineHousing says that allowing smoking inside of buildings can cause tenants to suffer illness and poor health, and that the cost of rehabilitating a unit where there’s been smoking is a waste of money because the damage is preventable.

For the past five years, MaineHousing has offered incentives to applicants who chose to create a 100 percent smoke-free building.