Smoking to be stubbed out in Scotland’s prisons
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.