Banning tobacco from prisons is good health policy


Smoke free prisons make good workplace health, and preventive health sense.

Addiction to nicotine and, the habit and rituals of smoking are a health problem significantly over represented in the prisoner population – typical estimates that about 85% of Australian prisoners smoke. Smoking is the overwhelmingly pervasive cultural norm and reinforces smoking as a ritual, social act, interaction and exchange or currency. It draws prisoners in and draws them back to smoking.

Access to smokes has also been a tool used by prison staff in managing some prisoners. Giving up this reinforcer is vital. Finding alternatives to smokes to shape behaviour of prisoners requires good thinking.

In Queensland, like other Australian States, policies have been in place for some years to limit where smoking occurs, to minimise others exposure to smoke (passive smoking). Exposure still occurs as cell air circulates and as cell doors open in the morning (even though…

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