New Florida prison chief bans tobacco in 6 months

State prisons will be tobacco-free in six months

The Associated Press

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Florida's new prison chief is just saying no to smoking and other tobacco use.

Department of Corrections Secretary Edwin Buss on Monday announced that Florida's prisons will be tobacco-free in six months. He said that should cut health care costs and make prisons safer.

Buss was one of Gov. Rick Scott's first appointees. He previously headed Indiana's prison system.

Buss said inmates hospitalized for tobacco-related illnesses cost taxpayers nearly $9 million in the past year. He said snuffing out cigarettes also will make the prisons cleaner and removing lighters will make them safer.

Inmates will be offered smoking cessation assistance and designated smoking areas will be set up outside prison walls and fences for employees.

More than half of the state's ban tobacco in prisons.

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