TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- March 14, 2011 --
Florida's new prison chief is just saying no to smoking and other tobacco use.
Department of Corrections Secretary Edwin Buss on Monday
announced that Florida's prisons will be tobacco-free in six
months. He said that should cut health care costs and make prisons
Buss was one of Gov. Rick Scott's first appointees. He previously headed Indiana's prison system.
Buss said inmates hospitalized for tobacco-related illnesses
cost taxpayers nearly $9 million in the past year. He said snuffing
out cigarettes also will make the prisons cleaner and removing
lighters will make them safer.
Inmates will be offered smoking cessation assistance and
designated smoking areas will be set up outside prison walls and
fences for employees.
More than half of the states ban tobacco in prisons.