Ohio Bans Prison Tobacco
Since their ban, tobacco products have become the new contraband in Ohio prisons, competing with marijuana as the substance of choice.
The Columbus Dispatch reported that a single cigarette sells for $10, a pack of cigarettes goes for $200 and a can of loose tobacco for $300.
Prison medical personnel said one out of three inmates with serious respiratory ailments, such as emphysema, bronchitis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, have shown marked improvement in the year since the ban took effect, according to the Dispatch.
Ohio prisons chief Ernie Moore said the positive health effect is “the reason we did this in the first place.”
“It’s been proven that tobacco use increases health-care costs. When taxpayers are paying for inmate health-care cost, it only made sense to eliminate smoking.”
There has been an uptick in contraband problems in the 31 state prisons in the past year, Moore said. He added, “In our profession, we are always dealing with contraband. It’s just a different contraband.”
Ohio was the 34th state to ban smoking in its prison system.