The reason given by prison officials for ending the ban was that it had created a thriving black market with a pack of cigarettes costing $40 and individual cigarettes going for $3. Those without money to buy them allegedly use "threats and violence to get them, while others reportedly traded sexual favors or prescription drugs for a smoke."
Prison guards, also forbidden to smoke inside the prisons, were allegedly the primary source of contraband. Dave Eaton, a Vermont prisoner, said the ban had increased the stress factor in prison and reported some smokers were so desperate for a smoke they were smoking coffee and tang. Vermont prisoners will now be able to smoke outdoors in designated areas.
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