Smoking Ban Looms for Prisoners, Visitors and Guards Alike.

Smoking was banned in all but designated smoking areas in Queensland corrective services facilities six years ago, but in a decision made last year those designated areas will be done away with in a few weeks.

A total ban on smoking will become effective from 5 May 2014 and will make the grounds of a corrective services facility smoke free (that includes visitors and guards). Earlier this month tobacco sales were halted in some prison canteens as facilities prepared for the changes.

Tobacco and other smoking products will officially become prohibited things per changes to the Corrective Services Regulation 2006 by the Corrective Services Amendment Regulation (No. 1) 2014 which amends section 20 (prohibited things) to include both smoking products and smokeless tobacco products.

Approximately 80% of inmates smoke and free nicotine patches will be given to inmates that don’t wish to go “cold turkey’. Meaningful activities will also be reviewed, as Queensland Corrective Services state that the energy levels of prisoners who quit smoking will increase, and they wish to provide prisoners the opportunity to undertake and participate in activities that assist quitting, and promote a healthier lifestyle.

Other States in Australia have committed to similar bans, with the Northern Territory banning tobacco last July, and the New South Wales and Tasmanian Governments set to remove tobacco from jails in 2015.

An information sheet that outlines how the new changes will affect visitors to Queensland corrective services facilities is available here.