Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Utah prison system extends smoking ban to every inmate
Policy » Those closest to release previously could smoke outside.
First Published Jan 06 2014 03:10 pm • Last Updated Jan 06 2014 09:21 pm

The Utah State Prison is now entirely smoke free.

Smoking indoors and out has been banned at the prison for almost 20 years, except at Lone Peak, the minimum-security housing unit at Draper. Those inmates, who are the closest to their parole dates or the end of their sentences, could smoke outside during recreation times.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

But when the prison administration changed last year, they reevaluated that policy and decided to extend the smoking ban to Lone Peak for safety and health concerns, according to a Utah Department of Corrections news release. The ban became effective New Year’s Day.

"Maybe a mind set [in the past] was that smoking was considered a perk or a privilege" to be earned with good behavior, said prison spokesman Steve Gehrke on Monday. But cigarettes also give prisoners open flames, an easier time moving contraband and return them to a habit they had previously done without, according to the corrections department.

"It it not great policy to enable a habit that’s proven to be detrimental to someone’s health," Gehrke said.

The prison administration announced the extended ban to the prisoners in late November so that they could prepare for the change and dispose of their cigarettes before 2014. The prisoners were also offered smoking cessation classes, consultation, clinical services and other information for a smoother transition, according to the department.

The ban should also prevent some of the tax-funded costs associated with treating inmates’ smoking-related medical issues, the department news release adds.

Facility-wide prohibition on lighting up has already been going on for a while across the country, Gehrke said. The Federal Bureau of Prisons banned smoking at all its facilities in 2004, and many other state systems have bans against both indoor and outdoor smoking, according to the news release.

The 300 or so Lone Peak inmates make up about 4 percent of the entire prison population.


story continues below
story continues below

Twitter: @mikeypanda

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.