U.S. bans smoking, all tobacco in federal prisons

(THE HILL) -- Federal prisoners will be prohibited from smoking under new rules from the Bureau of Prisons.

With few exceptions, the smoking ban in federal prisons will target more than 212,000 inmates who will be disciplined if they are caught with cigarettes, cigars, pipes, or any other tobacco products, according to the bureau.

The prison bureau’s crackdown on smoking comes as part of an effort to promote a healthy and clean environment for prisoners and guards.

“Back when I worked in the prisons, staff and inmates smoked all over the place,” said Ed Ross, a spokesman for the prison bureau. “Tobacco was very common.”

But the bureau has been cutting back on smoking at federal facilities in recent years. It originally proposed the smoking ban in 2006.

The final rules are scheduled to be published in Monday’s edition of the Federal Register and will formalize the smoking ban.

The rules would apply to inmates at 120 federal prisons around the country, but not those at state prisons who are subject to different rules.

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