Planned Prison Smoking Ban May Cause Mass Riots

By Gary Cutlack on at

Concerns over staff suing the prison service due to the effects of passive smoking may lead to a full ban on smoking in English and Welsh prisons from 2015, with a pilot ban set to start in early 2014.

The ban won't just apply to inside, either. Smoking will be completely banned across all prison premises, even when hanging about outside, to fend off possible compensation claims from prison staff fed up of breathing second-hand smoke. The UK's current smoking ban doesn't apply to prison cells, as they're considered "domestic premises" due to having people effectively living in them.

Campaigners suggest this might lead to a series of mass riots and cause "instability" across the board, thanks to the fact that around 80 per cent of the prison population is said to smoke. And as we all learned from watching Porridge, cigarettes are a sort of legal tender in prison. We're taking their freedom, pleasures and bartering tools.

They'll be offered nicotine patches instead. [BBC]

Image credit: Smoking in prison from Shutterstock