Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Sister Newspapers' News

June 26, 2012

Pastor wants tobacco ban lifted in prisons

CHARLESTON —

CNHI News Service

A West Virginia minister said the state’s correctional facilities could save “hundreds of thousands of dollars” if it legalized the sale of cigarettes.

He claimed prison employees often compromise the ban, well aware that a pack of cigarettes is worth about $75 behind prison walls, while a pound of tobacco translates into $1,000.

With those kind of numbers, especially among new employees, “the temptation becomes very great,” said Mike House, pastor of Ambassador Baptist Church in Elkins, W.Va.

House made his remarks before a state legislative panel.

The illegal practice costs West Virginians when the state must train a new employee, who replaces one that was terminated, he said. Or when prisoners get caught with tobacco products and their terms are extended, he said.

House said he understands the motivation in banning cigarettes and smokeless tobacco from a health standpoint.

But the use of tobacco is “probably not the greatest health issue” of inmates entering prison, he said.

---

Details for this story were provided by The Register-Herald in Beckley, W.Va.

 

1
Text Only
Sister Newspapers' News
Sister Newspaper Columns
AP Editor's Picks Video
Raw: Obama Tours Gyeongbok Palace Swimmer Michael Phelps Back in Competition Raw: Obama Lays Korean War Memorial Wreath Obama Leads Naturalization Ceremony in Seoul Calif. School Bus Crash Hurts Driver, 11 Kids Country Club for Exotic Cars Little Science Behind 'Pollen Vortex' Prediction US Proposes Pay-for-priority Internet Standards Wife Mourns Chicago Doctor Killed in Afghanistan FDA Proposes Regulations on E-cigarettes Kerry Warns Russia of Expensive New Sanctions Mideast Peace Talks Stall on Hamas Deal Cody Walker Remembers His Late Brother Paul Grieving South Korea Puts Up Yellow Ribbons Raw: Kerry Brings His Dog to Work Raw: Girls Survive Car Crash Into Their Bedroom Three U.S. Doctors Killed by Afghan Security Yankees' Pineda Suspended 10 Games for Pine Tar Colleagues Mourn Death of Doctors in Afghanistan Ukraine Launches Operation Against Insurgents
National and World