Smoking Ban At Iowa Prisions
Ban Includes All Correctional Facilities
Prison officials are concerned about rising health care costs for inmates and believe banning smoking will help reduce those bills, said Fred Scaletta, prison spokesman.
Jan. 1 next year has been tentatively scheduled as the tobacco-quitting date. The ban will cover every correctional facility, including cellhouses and prison yards. Smoking-cessation classes will be offered to inmates to help ease the transition. Correctional officers who need a nicotine break will have to step outside their prison's front door.
Tobacco historically has been an important part of inmate culture. In the past decade, however, there has been a trend toward eliminating smoking in the nation's prisons.
Three of Iowa's prisons - at Clarinda, Oakdale and Mount Pleasant - already prohibit all tobacco use. Smoking is allowed in the prison yards at Fort Madison, Anamosa, Fort Dodge, Rockwell City, Newton and Mitchellville.