Smoke-free prisons 'a success'
Mon, 02 Jul 2012 4:15p.m.
The year-old smoking ban in prisons is being hailed as a success by the Government and the Corrections Department.
Corrections Minister Anne Tolley says the ban, introduced on July 1 last year, had improved air quality and safety with a 72 percent reduction in fire-related incidents.
Department chief executive Ray Smith says it was the single most important health initiative that could have been taken for 8500 prisoners and 4500 staff nationwide.
Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) is offered to all prisoners and staff who want to quit.
The campaign began two years ago and Mr Smith says from November 1 last year to May 22 this year, of the 5661 newly-received prisoners who identified as smokers, 4177 elected to take NRT.
By May 20 this year there were 8654 prisoners on muster and of those 1082 were receiving NRT.
"This shows a reduction in prisoners using NRT to quit smoking," he said.
"We're empowering prisoners to make life changes that may lead to lowering their re-offending rate, they also have the opportunity to spread the smoke-free message to their family and friends."
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