(06/28/2006)
Smoking is now banned in West Virginia's 16 prisons and 11 juvenile facilities. The move is to provide a healthier environment for inmates.

Starting Saturday, inmates and prison employees will only be able to use tobacco products outdoors.

A total ban is planned for July, 2007.

Officials have estimated that a tobacco ban would save West Virginia about $400,000 a year in inmate medical costs and up to $80,000 in dental expenses.

A study by the Department of Health and Human Resources says West Virginia has one of the highest rates of adult smoking in the nation at 27.3 percent.


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