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Inmate wins order forcing Missouri prisons to ban smoking

Missouri prisons have been ordered to eliminate smoking after an asthmatic inmate serving a life sentence for two murders won a court judgment. (MGN Online)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri prisons have been ordered to eliminate smoking after an asthmatic inmate serving a life sentence for two murders won a court judgment.

The Kansas City Star reports Missouri has been ordered to go smoke-free by April 1 because of the lawsuit Ecclesiastical Denzel Washington filed.

Missouri already bans smoking inside prison buildings, but it allows it in designated areas outside. The evidence at trial showed that inmates are commonly written up for smoking in their cells.

Attorney Michael Foster, who helped represent Washington, says the ruling may save Missouri taxpayers money because of the cost of treating smoking-related illnesses for the state's more than 30,000 inmates.

State officials haven't announced their plan to eliminate smoking.

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