County Prisons Get Ready for Tobacco Ban on Jan. 1

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The State of Georgia is saying there are no 'butts' about a new no smoking regulation effective Jan. 1st that will keep county prisons consistent with ones run by the state.

Thomas County's warden says he's been preparing for the change for almost a year.

Warden Bobby Geer says he '"had to start early," and that he "knew that we just couldn't shut [the smoking] down overnight ... we just had to wean them off of it and help them through the transition."

The new law will bring county prisons up to speed with all other prisons in the state of Georgia that already enforce a 'no smoking' policy.

Wardens say they also have new policies in effect for guards so inmates won't see them smoking while they are trying to quit.

Officials say any family members or friends who try to sneak tobacco or other banned goods into the prison will lose their visitation priveleges.

They say free smoking cessation aids such as nicotine patches, gum, and literature will be available at no cost to inmates who wish to take advantage of it while quitting.

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