Mississippi prisons to allow smoking starting in February


PARIS – JANUARY 31: An unidentified man smokes a cigarette in the street outside his office on January 31, 2007 in Paris, France. France introduces a smoking ban in public places from February 1, 2007. Bars, restaurants, hotels and night clubs will follow from January 1, 2008. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

JACKSON, Miss. — The head of Mississippi’s prison system says inmates will be allowed to smoke, starting Feb. 1.

Smoking has been banned for a decade in the state’s 21 prisons and other facilities. But Corrections Commissioner Burl Cain says in a news release that some inmates have been lighting up anyway. He says people have been smuggling in tobacco.

One goal of allowing smoking is to break the trade in expensive contraband tobacco.

Cigarettes will be sold at market prices in prison commissaries.

Smoking areas will be designated outside.

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