Target date to be set for smoke-free Scottish prisons – BBC News

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The Scottish Prison Service (SPS) is set to reveal the target date for Scotland’s prisons becoming smoke free.

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

It is expected to show high levels of second-hand smoke in parts of some prisons.

The large scale Tobacco in Prison Study (TIPS) was led by the University of Glasgow, with input from the University of Aberdeen.

A survey by the Scottish Prison Service in 2015 found that 72% of those in custody smoked – more than three times the rate of the general population.

Scotland introduced a ban on smoking in enclosed public places in 2006, but it did not apply to prisons.

However, prison rules were amended at the time to restrict smoking to certain areas, such as cells and outdoor recreation spaces.

Claims ‘backed up’

Staff, visitors and contractors are not permitted to smoke anywhere on SPS property.

A small number of prisons in Scotland have designated a proportion of their residential areas as smoke-free.

The move towards smoke-free prisons is in keeping with the Scottish government’s aim of creating a “tobacco-free generation” by 2034.

SPS, the Scottish government and the NHS have said they will work together to help those in custody stop smoking.

Phil Fairlie, chairman of the Prison Officers’ Association Scotland, told BBC Radio’s Good Morning Scotland programme: “Our members have claimed and argued all along, since the smoking ban was introduced, that they are constantly exposed to very high levels of smoking inside prisons.

“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.”

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