Smoking to be banned in jails

Inmates within NSW jails who currently smoke will be forced to quit before August next year.

It is estimated that about 80 per cent of inmates smoke.

Jails across the state, including John Morony in Berkshire Park, will become a smoke-free environment as of August 1, 2015. 

The new law was announced by the NSW Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Brad Hazzard and Health Minister Jillian Skinner last Thursday, August 21. 

'‘About 17 per cent of the community smoke and the rates are declining,’’ Me Hazzard said. ‘‘Yet 75 to 80 per cent of inmates continue to smoke.” 

With Queensland, New Zealand and the Northern Territory already having banned smoking in jails, Mr Hazzard said ‘‘many inmates recognise the benefits and quit far sooner than the deadline. 

“Going smoke free has been well thought out and planned ... from here on in I’ll be encouraging inmates to get fit and do circuits, not cigarettes.”

Cancer Council NSW chief executive Jim L’Estrange said he was impressed with the government’s decision after research found smoking rates were significantly higher in NSW prisons compared to the general population.

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