Charity hails move to ban prisoners from smoking


Smoking will be outlawed in Scotland's prisons by next year 

17th July 2017 by Robert Armour 0 Comments

A charity has backed plans to make all Scotland’s prisons smoke free.

The Scottish Prison Service (SPS) said it will ban smoking by November next year.

Smoking is currently allowed within cells and in some outside spaces within prison sites.

Anti-smoking group Ash Scotland said the move would bring Scotland in line with other countries which have outlawed smoking in prisons.

However an anti-smoking group called for the plans to be abandoned.

Forest director Simon Clark said the risks of second-hand smoke have been greatly exaggerated and allowing inmates to smoke in their cells poses no significant risk to prison officers.

But ASH Scotland chief executive, Sheila Duffy, said: “Breathing tobacco smoke is a known health hazard, and this research shows that there are worrying levels of smoke pollution in Scottish prisons.

“Smoke-free prisons are being successfully rolled-out in other parts of Britain so I’m glad that Scotland will not be left behind on this.

“With prisons from Australia to Texas having been smoke-free for years I look forward to the Scottish Prison Service achieving the same standard here.”

The date was announced at the launch of a major report into prison workers' exposure to second-hand smoke.

Phil Fairlie, chairman of the Prison Officers' Association Scotland, said the body’s members have argued that since the smoking ban was introduced, they have been  constantly exposed to very high levels of smoking inside prisons.

He added: "This survey, for the first time provides data to back up that claim and the concern that's been raised by staff throughout those years.

"Higher than 75% of the prison population smoke so it's a very high number of people who are involved in that activity."