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Inmates Forced To Kick The Habit

Many jails across the state are already smoke free and on February 1st, the Boyle County Detention Center joined the list.

It's not a law, but Captain Phil Yates says they're anticipating a state-wide mandate in the coming months so they're just trying to stay ahead of the game.

Over the past several weeks, inmates and employees have been warned of the change and they've been phasing it in.

The jail posted announcements about it towards the end of last year.

They stopped selling cigarettes in the canteen in December but inmates could continue to smoke what they had until Friday. Now, there's no smoking or tobacco use of any kind allowed at the jail..

Employees are allowed to go outside to light up those who are incarcerated do not have that option.

Inmate Leonard Bates had smoked for only a few years and admits it's been tough to kick the habit, but he considers this a a blessing in disguise. He says it's the push he needed to kick the habit for good.

Nina Adams, another inmate, has smoked for over 20 years and says she ran out of smokes about a week and a half ago. She says it's been really hard, but she's doing her best.

While the ban has only been in effect for a day, both Nina and Leonard say there have already been some outbursts and tempers have flared.

They say the stress of being in jail to begin with, coupled with being forced to quit smoking is making some people edgy and short tempered.

The jail is offering nicotine-type lozenges and there will be a cessation program offered for female inmates beginning Monday. Jail officials hope they can raise enough money to offer it for the men soon.


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