While jails usually ban inmates from smoking cigarettes, two counties – Saline County and White County – in southern Illinois are permitting inmates to use the new nicotine-infused vapor inhalers. The electronic cigarettes, also referred to as e-cigarettes, are also being considered in the counties of Williamson, Wabash, and Franklin.
Other states’ jails are reportedly using the e-cigarettes to raise money for programs in the jails. Jails that already have the e-cigarette-permission in use have not reported any problems thus far.
However, the Illinois Department of Corrections which maintains the prisons throughout the state says that e-cigarettes are not being sold at commissaries in the prisons as they are banned from the premises. Tom Shaer, the Illinois Department of Corrections’ spokesperson, said that the e-cigarette policy in the prisons will most likely stay in place with its ban on the items.
Illinois’ American Lung Association has made it known that they are urging county leaders to find other methods of raising money than selling the e-cigarettes – methods that do not jeopardize the health of both inmates and the staff members.