Smoking Could be Banned in UK Prisons

    September 21, 2013
    Erika Watts
    Comments are off for this post.

A smoking ban has been proposed for prisons in the U.K., and several prisons in the U.K. will participate in a pilot program to see how inmates respond to such a ban. The U.K. Ministry of Justice announced the program on Friday that will ban smoking and all other tobacco products from selected jails. The proposal comes after non-smokers have complained about secondhand smoke.

“We are considering banning smoking across the prison estate and as part of this are looking at possible sites as early adopters,” said a spokesperson at the Ministry of Justice. Approximately 80 percent of prisoners smoke, and there is a fear of legal action on the behalf of non-smokers if something isn’t done. If officials are pleased with how the smoking ban works at the selected prisons, all prisons in the U.K. could be under the smoking ban within the year.

The smoking ban comes at a cost to the taxpayers, though. The prisons will provide nicotine patches for those who have to quit smoking, which will cost the taxpayers an estimated £11 million. According to Daily Mail, officials are afraid of a lawsuit if they don’t offer assistance in quitting smoking. Drug-addicted prisoners were awarded £11,400 each in 2008 after they were forced to go cold turkey without any help.

Prison guards are concerned that a smoking ban will cause riots, which would make their jobs even more dangerous. Officials have acknowledged that the ban “could cause disturbances,” but haven’t yet mentioned how they plan to deal with that. Many Twitter users think that a smoking ban in prisons will only lead to trouble. What do you think about a prison smoking ban? Respond below.

Image via Wikimedia Commons

  • pattershow

    I’m surprised smoking hasn’t been banned by governments across Europe. When you have government provided health care, the government has a fiscal responsibility to ensure people are as healthy as possible. As a consequence, there should be no smoking, mandatory physical fitness tests, and dietary controls on individual access to unhealthy foodstuffs. Freedom? Well, that’s an indulgence of those who assume responsibility for their actions…

  • Bansmoking

    Smoking should be banned everywhere. It’s horrible and we shouldn’t be subjected to other peoples filthy habits. The US needs to follow Europe and get with it.

  • http://vapeforest.com Jason Waver

    I’m surprised this hasn’t happened before, but, at the same token, I can’t imagine it going well at all. As those people tweeted, there will literally be a riot if this happens.

  • http://www.portablevaporizerpro.com PV Pro

    The taxpayers are going to be paying for nicotine patches for the inmates????

    I think that’s absolutely ridiculous.

    The inmates are in there for a reason – whether it’s a shank to the leg or a smoke, they’re going to off themselves one way or another, so at the least let them just be or else riots WILL happen – at least that’s how I see it.