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News | Department of Justice Bans Smoking In Federal Prisons

According to a report to be published by the Department of Justice on Monday, all tobacco products will be banned in federal prisons.

Starting in 30 days from Monday all federal prison inmates will be prohibited from smoking unless they receive a religious exemption. However, staff will still be permitted to smoke in designated areas.

According to the final ruling, “The revised regulations generally prohibit smoking in and on the grounds of Bureau institutions and offices, except as part of an authorized inmate religious activity; and, for Bureau staff and official visitors, only in smoking areas designated by the Warden. Possession of smoking apparatus and tobacco in any form is prohibited for inmates under this rule, unless as part of an authorized inmate religious activity.”

The government has been working to ban smoking in prisons since 2006, according to the ruling and it is believed the religious exemption is aimed at Native Americans who have a ceremonial history with tobacco smoking.

There are over 210,000 people incarcerated in Federal Prisons as of 2010.