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State employee smoking ban now in effect

 Posted: 7:55 AM January 03, 2013

SALEM, Ore. — Prison guards are an exception to a no-smoking rule that took effect Tuesday for Oregon state employees.

The order signed by Gov. John Kitzhaber says smokers have to go outside to a sidewalk or private property.

The Statesman Journal reports ( there's no convenient place for prison guards to smoke. The Department of Corrections, Oregon Youth Authority and Department of Parks and Recreation have until the end of next year to come up with a plan to comply with the smoking ban.

Kitzhaber signed the ban to save the state money. About 4 percent of Oregon's 50,000 state workers smoke and they cost the state more in health care costs and insurance.

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