Creating A Smoke Free Prison Environment

The Scottish Prison Service (SPS) has announced its intention for all prisons in Scotland to be smoke free by the end of 2018.  In 2013 the Scottish Government published their tobacco control strategy, ‘Creating a Tobacco-free Generation’, in which it was recognised that creating a smoke-free Prison Service was a key step in achieving a smoke free generation.

The move to smoke free prisons has been further informed by a large scale Tobacco in Prisons Study (TIPS), led by the University of Glasgow.  As part of this study, input on Second Hand Smoke measurement has been provided by the University of Aberdeen.  The report being launched represents the most comprehensive study in the world of prison workers’ exposure to second-hand smoke. TIPS will help SPS and partners plan how we move to a smoke free prison environment.

SPS will be working with partner agencies to develop a wide range of supports and interventions to assist those in prison to give up smoking. The sale of tobacco in prisons will cease in 2018 and the SPS will seek to make changes to the Prison Rules to make smoking in Scotland’s prisons illegal.

Commenting on these proposals, the Cabinet Secretary for Justice, Michael Matheson, said.

“Second-hand smoke poses an unacceptably high risk to the health of prisoners, staff and visitors.  There are very high rates of smoking among those in custody.  The staff working in Scotland’s prisons should be afforded the same protection as people working in other professions…Smoke-free prisons will play an important part in achieving that – benefiting staff and prisoners, as well as the children and families to whom most individuals will return on release.”

The full SPS consultation can be viewed via the link below:

Staff exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke in Scotland’s prisons

Families Outside were asked to respond to the consultation. Our full response can be found here.

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