All Florida Department of Corrections facilities will be tobacco-free in six months — including a ban on inmate smoking.
“Inmate smoking and second-hand smoking is costing millions in healthcare costs each year,” said Florida Department of Corrections Secretary Edwin Buss. “Eliminating smoking is a win for taxpayers, but it’s also a win for employees and inmates, making our facilities healthier places to work and live in, and making them a little safer too.”
Smoking bans have long been in place in all of Florida’s public buildings and offices, over half of the state prisons in the US already have similar bans, and since 2004, all of the prisons in the Federal Prison system have banned smoking on prison grounds.
In the past year, inmates hospitalized for tobacco – related illnesses have cost Florida taxpayers nearly 9 million dollars, Buss said, and snuffing out cigarettes will also result in cleaner prisons and by removing lighters, reduce the chance of arson.
The Department is giving 180 days notice to inmates and will offer smoking cessation assistance to inmates requesting help. Designated smoking areas will be set up for employees outside the prison fence.