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VIRGINIA BEACH (AP) Inmates at the Virginia Beach Correctional Center soon will able to buy electronic cigarettes at the jail's canteen.

Virginia Beach Sheriff Ken Stolle tells The Virginian-Pilot that a poll he conducted showed 85 percent of the jail's roughly 1,400 inmates want access to the devices.

The battery-powered devices heat a liquid nicotine solution and create vapor that's inhaled.

Stolle says each e-cigarette is equivalent to two and a half packs of cigarettes and will sell for $15. He expects the jail's profit to be about $10 apiece. The revenue will be used for inmate programs and to hire more deputies.

Stolle says he will discourage inmates from using e-cigarettes, but he will allow them to make their own health decisions.

The devices will go on sale this month.

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Information from: The Virginian-Pilot, http://pilotonline.com

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