TALLAHASSEE (CBS4) – In an effort to reduce healthcare costs at state prisons the Florida Department of Corrections is moving to make sure their facilities are smoke-free by September.
While smoking bans have been in place for Florida public buildings and offices for some time now, and the Federal Prison system has been smoke-free since 2004, the prisons run by the state have not been.
“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,” he said.
Florida taxpayers spent nearly $9 million last year for inmate tobacco-related illness, according to a Florida Department of Corrections statement. Removing cigarettes from prisons will also result in cleaner facilities, remove lighters and reduce the chance of arson, according to the statement.
Inmates will have 180 days notice that their smoking rights will be removed. Help in quitting the habit will be offered.
There will be designated smoking areas for employees outside prison fences.