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Prison Smoking Ban Prompts Praise And Contraband Fears

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Folsom, CA — Inmates and guards say tensions will rise, contraband tobacco will be worth its weight in gold, and prisoners and employees alike will be jittery as they try to quit cold turkey when California´s ban on prison tobacco kicks in Friday.

Many states´ prison agencies have full or partial bans on inmates´ tobacco use, but California is one of the few to write an almost total prohibition into law.

California´s law also extends to employees and covers all tobacco products, while some states permit chewing tobacco, snuff and the like.

Still, many California prisons and the California Youth Authority have banned tobacco for years. Prison officials where the ban has been in effect reported a drop in respiratory ailments and asthma-related complaints.