Lt. Robert Orr, a correctional officer at the Prince George's County jail, has cut his daily pack-and-a-half cigarette habit to a pack a day, sometimes less.
Another guard, Glenn Stymiest (two packs a day), went cold turkey for three weeks, then broke down. But he quit again. Now he chews nicotine gum.
And then there are the inmates, 1,200 of them at the jail in Upper Marlboro. They've quit too, although they had no choice. Butts are now contraband, and getting nabbed with one means lockdown -- 48 hours in a cell.
A month has passed since the Prince George's County Correctional Center became the Washington area's second smoke-free lockup, and officials report a mostly painless withdrawal.
"There's been very little problem from inmates," said spokeswoman Christy Merenda, who has reduced her own pack-a-day habit.
"The greatest resistance has probably come from the staff people. And even that's been most often lighthearted, friendly, jovial."
After monitoring the first year of a jailhouse smoking ban in Fairfax County, and judging it a success, Prince George's Corrections Director Samuel F. Saxton, a former pipe smoker, began phasing out cigarettes in the Prince George's jail in March, and banned them entirely as of June 1.
Some staff members, if not dreading withdrawal themselves, feared a rise in irritability among nicotine-starved inmates, about two-thirds of whom arrive as smokers. And because butts had long been the coin of the jailhouse realm -- traded for everything, including cupcakes, deodorant and telephone time -- the new policy would mean the collapse of an established economy. Some guards foresaw thievery and disorder.
"But everything's fine so far," Orr said.
Prisoners, once free to puff in their cells and in courtyards outside their units, aren't allowed to smoke anywhere. Staff members can smoke outdoors, in designated areas.
"The nonsmokers and the reformed smokers, they're just ecstatic," said ex-smoker Della Donaldson, the jail's chief health educator.
"They all feel like they've been freed from an evil demon."
Although no inmates have lodged complaints through the jail's grievance system, and none has been caught with cigarettes, officials said, there has been some carping.
"At first, right away, we heard, 'Our constitutional rights! Our constitutional rights!' " said Donaldson. "But that went away."
Some prisoners applauded the ban.
"As a detail worker, I clean up cigarettes which have been disposed of everywhere, including in cups, toilets, buckets, and not to mention the ground," Sherri Miller, who is serving a sentence for theft, wrote in an inmate newsletter. "Too many smokers have no respect for property, whether their own or that of others."
But Pierre Lewis, awaiting trial on theft and robbery charges, wrote that the new policy had come "to the horror and consternation of unfortunates trapped inside these walls."
Before the phaseout started, prisoners could order up to 20 packs a week from the commissary, if they had money on deposit.
The limit dropped to five packs a week in March, then three a week in April. Though cigarettes weren't sold at all in May, prisoners were allowed to smoke what they had left before butts became contraband in June.
"It's terrible, terrible," said one prisoner visiting with Donaldson recently. The inmate, a 42-year-old heavy smoker who asked not to be identified, said it used to be that a prisoner needing a cigarette probably could get one from a cellmate for a single commissary cupcake, maybe two.
"Now it's 10, even 15" cupcakes, said the prisoner, who is awaiting trial on a fraud charge.
"I've heard that offered. But there ain't any cigarettes around."