Pennsylvania to ban tobacco in all state prisons


Pennsylvania’s prison system is banning all tobacco products inside the secure perimeter of every facility, starting July 1.

Department of Corrections Secretary John Wetzel announced the new policy Monday, saying it will promote a healthier environment and increase safety through the elimination of black-market tobacco sales.

Tobacco products found or used inside prisons, by inmates or staff, will be considered contraband.

Banned tobacco products include cigarettes, cigars, smokeless tobacco, tobacco substitutes, lighters, pipes, pipe cleaners, filters, rolling papers, roller aprons, and rollers.

Inmates and employees will be allowed to use non-refillable e-cigarettes approved by the Department of Corrections in designated areas.

Inmates will be able to buy nicotine replacement therapy patches through an approved vendor. They will be provided with smoking cessation programs, educational materials, and support services.

Three state prisons, Chester, Phoenix, and Pine Grove, and the Quehanna Boot Camp already are tobacco-free facilities.

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