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Missouri Department of Corrections will ban smoking in April

The Missouri Department of Corrections will ban smoking in prisons in April.

Staff, offenders, visitors and contractors will not be allowed to posses or use tobacco products inside the department’s facilities beginning on April 1.

A spokesperson for the department said staff and visitors will be able to smoke in a designated area outside of the prisons.

This comes after an inmate sued the department for suffering health effects from secondhand smoke. In September, a federal jury ruled that it was cruel and unusual punishment to pair the inmate, who suffers from asthma, with a smoker.

The staff will be able to receive free smoking-cessation products, educational materials and classes through their health plan.

Inmates will be able to purchase nicotine replacement products and will have access to classes and counseling.

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