Smok­ing to be stubbed out in Scot­land’s pris­ons

The Courier & Advertiser (Angus and The Mearns Edition) - - News -

Smok­ing will be pro­hib­ited in Scot­land’s jails by the end of next year un­der plans an­nounced by prison chiefs.

The Scot­tish Prison Ser­vice (SPS) says it in­tends to make all jails north of the bor­der “smoke-free” by Novem­ber 2018.

The move is de­signed to tackle the “un­ac­cept­ably high risk” posed to the health of pris­on­ers, staff and vis­i­tors by pas­sive smok­ing.

The an­nounce­ment was ac­com­pa­nied by the launch of a ma­jor re­port on prison work­ers’ ex­po­sure to sec­ond-hand smoke.

The study, led by Glasgow univer­sity, found work­ers’ ex­po­sure to such smoke is sim­i­lar to that ex­pe­ri­enced by some­one liv­ing in a typ­i­cal smok­ing home in Scot­land.

SPS chief ex­ec­u­tive Colin McCon­nell said: “This re­port is a call to ac­tion.

“It’s not ac­cept­able that those in our care and those who work in our pris­ons should be ex­posed to sec­ond-hand smoke.

“We have al­ready put mea­sures in place to re­duce this risk by in­sist­ing that pris­on­ers close their cell doors when they are smok­ing, thereby re­duc­ing the ex­po­sure of that smoke to oth­ers. We have also mod­i­fied our daily work­ing prac­tices to re­duce this sec­ondary ex­po­sure.

“How­ever, the fact re­mains that the only way to re­move this risk is to re­move smok­ing from our pris­ons, so I am to­day com­mit­ting the SPS to achiev­ing a smoke-free prison es­tate.”

Mr McCon­nell said it will be a “sig­nif­i­cant chal­lenge” to achieve the aim, with the per­cent­age of peo­ple smok­ing in pris­ons much higher than in the wider com­mu­nity.

Data sug­gests nearly three­quar­ters (72%) of pris­on­ers in Scot­land smoke.

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