Evaluating graduated progress towards and impacts of the implementation of indoor smoke free prison facilities in Scotland

Record ID 32016001084
Authors' objectives: We know that smoking causes many illnesses and earlier death and that even breathing in other people s smoke (so called secondhand smoke ) can damage your health. The World Health Organisation estimated that secondhand smoke caused 603,000 deaths in 2004. Smoking bans in indoor public places in Scotland in 2006 and in England in 2007 reduced people s exposure to secondhand smoke. This was important for people working in places where there was a lot of smoking, such as bars. One workplace that was not fully covered by these bans was prisons, because prisons were seen as both home for prisoners whilst serving their sentences and workplace for prison staff. About three-quarters of prisoners are smokers. This means prisoners are three to four times as likely to smoke as the general population. Very little research has been done on smoking in prison staff. Around the world, for example in New Zealand and the USA, partial or complete smoking bans have been introduced in prisons to protect the health of prisoners and staff. The advice from places where prison smoking bans and restrictions have already been brought in is that it is really important to understand the attitudes and needs of all groups living and working in prisons, including prisoners, prison officers, health workers and so on. It is important to listen to smokers and non-smokers in each of these groups. The Scottish Government wants to make positive steps towards Scotland becoming a smokefree country. They know this will take time to achieve. As one important step towards this they want to work out how more restrictions on smoking in prisons can be introduced in a way that suits most people affected, including providing the right kind of support for prisoners to stop or reduce smoking. This will help prisoners to prepare for life outside prison where smoking is now less common and less accepted. We want to help the Scottish Government do this with research that tells them not just about levels of smoking in prisons, but also what different groups (such as prisoners and staff, smokers and non-smokers) feel are the good and bad things about smoking in prisons, and their views on introducing smokefree prison facilities in the future. This research will collect the information that policy makers require to understand everyone s needs and points of view, and to assess the balance of costs and benefits for everyone concerned. It will find out how many people are smoking in prisons and measure levels of secondhand smoke in prisons before and after any changes are introduced. This means it will be able to measure changes over time, seeing what happens after support for stopping smoking and restrictions on smoking begin to change. It will feed back the findings about all groups points of view so that support for stopping smoking can be provided in the right ways. It will also help Prison Services, Governments and policy makers in other countries to decide how they can best move towards smokefree prisons. The findings will also be published in academic, health and prisons journals and they will be given back to all groups of people who take part in the research. Over the three years of the study, the researchers will feed back useful information to Scottish Government, the NHS and the Scottish Prison Service as quickly as possible so they can understand what information and support people need as they develop new policies, services and rules about smoking in prisons.
Project Status: Ongoing
Anticipated Publish Date: 2021
English language abstract: An English language summary is available
Publication Type: Not Assigned
Country: England, United Kingdom
MeSH Terms
  • Smoking Reduction
  • Prisons
  • Tobacco Use Cessation
  • Tobacco
  • Smoking Cessation
  • Smoking Prevention
  • Smoke-Free Policy
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution
Organisation Name: NIHR Public Health Research programme
Contact Address: NIHR Journals Library, National Institute for Health and Care Research, Evaluation, Trials and Studies Coordinating Centre, Alpha House, University of Southampton Science Park, Southampton SO16 7NS, UK
Contact Name: journals.library@nihr.ac.uk
Contact Email: journals.library@nihr.ac.uk
Copyright: Queen's Printer and Controller of HMSO
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