NEW TAZEWELL, TN (AP) - At least two East Tennessee jails have started allowing inmates to smoke electronic cigarettes, saying they cut down on disturbances and a contraband trade in regular cigarettes.

Claiborne County Sheriff David Ray told The Knoxville News Sentinel ( the electronic cigarettes can't be taken apart or used as weapons. Still, inmates have to turn in their used e-cigarette in order to buy a new one.

Ray said they cost $10 each in the commissary. One e-cigarette is the equivalent of two-and-a-half packs of regular cigarettes.

Greene County Sheriff Steve Burns began allowing inmates to use e-cigarettes in August. He says there has been a decrease in fights since then.

Ray agreed, saying the jail doesn't make a big profit on the e-cigarettes, but they help keep the peace.


Information from: Knoxville News Sentinel,

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