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This decision is not expected to be well received by inmates since they rely on cigarettes more heavily than the general population. However, said the SPS, the second-hand smoke that staff, visitors and even the prisoners themselves are exposed to is unacceptable.

The Tobacco in Prisons Study (TIPS), indicated that 2/3 of of non-smoking prison staff are regularly exposed to smoke, the equivalent to that one would be exposed to if living with a smoker.
The announcement came as the prison service published a study measuring prison staff’s exposure to secondhand smoke in what was called, “the most comprehensive study in the world”. The Tobacco in Prisons Study (TIPS), indicated that when on duty, the majority of non-smoking prison staff (about ⅔), are regularly exposed to smoke, the equivalent to that one would be exposed to if living with a smoker.

The research was carried out by the University of Glasgow and the University of Aberdeen, and was published in the Annals of Work Exposure and Health journal. “It is not acceptable that those in our care and those who work in our prisons should be exposed to secondhand smoke,” said Colin McConnell, CEO of the SPS.

The possible repercussions

However, Several prison reform organizations have come forward voicing concerns about how such a ban could lead to violence and contraband trade activities. Director of the Prison Reform Trust Peter Dawson, said  “A sensible and considered approach to smoking in prisons would leave prisoners with a choice – at least to smoke outside,” said Director of the Prison Reform Trust Peter Dawson. “If this is not part of the Scottish Government’s plans, there has to be proper support while people give up – not just smoking cessation aids, but increased vigilance for signs of distress that could easily turn into self harm or worse.”

“If this is not part of the Scottish Government’s plans, there has to be proper support while people give up – not just smoking cessation aids, but increased vigilance for signs of distress that could easily turn into self harm or worse.” Peter Dawson, Director, The Prison Reform Trust

The SPS replied to these concerns by saying that prisoners will be offered help to quit before the the ban is implemented. Last March, both Irish and Isle of Man prisons announced that vaping products could be made available for sale in their prisons.

More info : The Scotsman