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Saturday, February 15, 2014

Criminal Justice Quote: E-Cigarettes in Jails

     As city governments and schools across the country move to ban or restrict the use of electronic cigarettes, one place increasingly welcomes the devices: the rural county jail. Though traditional cigarettes are prohibited from most prisons and jails because of fire hazards and secondhand smoke, a growing number of sheriffs say they are selling e-cigarettes to inmates to help control the mood swings of those in need of a smoke, as well as address budget shortfalls, which in some jails have meant that guards are earning little more than fast-food workers.

     The trend stands in contrast to restrictions on e-cigarettes approved in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, and other big cities. Country jails in a least seven states have permitted the sale of a limited selection of flavors of e-cigarettes to inmates They have quickly become one of the most sought-after items in jail commissaries. And although federal prisons ban e-cigarettes, the inmate market has so much potential that Chinese and American manufacturers now produce "jail-safe" versions made of plastic instead of metal.

Timothy Williams, The New York Times, January 23, 2014

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