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Tobacco ban to go into effect at all Pennsylvania state prisons

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — A tobacco ban will be going into effect at all Pennsylvania state prisons this summer. 

Notices have gone out to inmates and staff that July 1 is the date that all state prisons will become tobacco-free.  

Department of Corrections spokeswoman Susan McNaughton says there will be a transition period.

“In May through June, the DOC is going to provide smoking cessation programs at all of our correctional institutions for inmates. Also, the DOC will be making resources available to employees about smoking and tobacco cessation as well,” she said. 

READ: Pa. officials look to reduce prison re-entry rate 

On June 1, prison commissaries will stop selling tobacco products. Come July 1, tobacco will be considered contraband, though inmates and staff will still be able to puff on e-cigarettes.

“This timeline was used back in 2018 when we moved from Graterford to Phoenix and we had great success with that. There were very few, if any, complaints from anybody,” McNaughton said. 

McNaughton also points out that state inmates come from the county system, which already has a tobacco ban in place.   

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