Tennessee Jails Turn to E-Cigarette Sales to Raise Revenue, Calm Inmates

In some jails across the nation electronic cigarettes are now for sale.  While jails have typically banned smoking, some are beginning to carve out exceptions for “e-cigarettes”. In an effort to help increase revenue, cut down on tobacco related contraband and calm rowdy inmate populations, county jails across the country are increasingly turning to selling e-cigarettes to inmates.  As reported in The Tennessean:

Jails in Tennessee — including Sumner and Rutherford counties — are allowing inmates to smoke electronic cigarettes behind bars to help pacify what can be a rowdy population, but also as a revenue source. These disposable e-cigarettes, which usually cost the inmates between $9 and $15 each, contain no tobacco but instead use a low-voltage battery to deliver the key chemical in cigarettes, nicotine, while emitting only water vapor.

The Tennessee Department of Correction does not allow e-cigarettes in prison. But e-cigarettes behind bars are growing increasingly common across the country, and at least five Tennessee counties have allowed them into their jails. E-cigarette companies have begun exhibiting at Tennessee Sheriffs Association conferences, promising a cash cow for jails.

“Earn $1000s for your jail,” read one sign at the group’s summer 2013 conference, from a company called Precision Vapor.

For more information read the full article in The Tennessean.