JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Missouri Department of Corrections will ban smoking in prisons this year.
All of the department’s facilities will be tobacco-free starting April 1. Staff, offenders, visitors and contractors won’t be allowed to possess or use tobacco products inside the facilities. Staff and visitors will be able to smoke in a designated area outside the prisons.
The decision comes after an inmate sued the department for suffering health effects from secondhand smoke. A federal jury ruled in September it was cruel and unusual punishment to pair the inmate, who suffers from asthma, with a smoker.
Staff can receive free smoking-cessation products, educational materials and classes through their health plan. Inmates will be able to purchase nicotine replacement products, and will have access to classes and counseling.