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Target date to be set for smoke-free Scottish prisons Target date in 2018 for smoke-free Scottish prisons
(about 2 hours later)
The Scottish Prison Service (SPS) is set to reveal the target date for Scotland's prisons becoming smoke free. The Scottish Prison Service (SPS) has said it intends to make Scotland's prisons smoke free by next year.
The date will be announced at the launch of a major report into prison workers' exposure to second-hand smoke. The date was 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. It showed high levels of second-hand smoke in parts of some prisons.
Under the SPS plan, inmates will not be allowed to smoke after November 2018. Smoking is currently allowed within cells and in some outside spaces within prison sites.
The large scale Tobacco in Prison Study (TIPS) was led by the University of Glasgow, with input from the University of Aberdeen.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.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.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.However, prison rules were amended at the time to restrict smoking to certain areas, such as cells and outdoor recreation spaces.
Claims 'backed up'Claims 'backed up'
Staff, visitors and contractors are not permitted to smoke anywhere on SPS property.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.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.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.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.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."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.""Higher than 75% of the prison population smoke so it's a very high number of people who are involved in that activity."
'Common sense'
The proposed ban has been strongly criticised by an organisation promoting smokers' rights.
Forest said the prison service should show "common sense" and abandon the plan.
Director Simon Clark said: "The risks of second-hand smoke have been greatly exaggerated. Allowing inmates to smoke in their cells poses no significant risk to prison officers.
"On the other hand, banning smoking in prisons risks inflaming a tense and sometimes violent environment.
"Tobacco is an important currency in prison. The removal of one of the few privileges inmates are allowed could also fuel the use of illicit substances."