POA Circulars

100 | 28.08.2014

Smoking in Prisons

Following the introduction of PSI 9/2007 by NOMS, members have consistently raised the issue of “smoke free prisons”.

Smoking in prisons has been a live issue and subject to a number of debates at Conference.

The POA has and will continue to seek legal redress where possible for members who believe their health and/or wellbeing has been affected as a result of second hand smoke in the workplace.

Following continued pressure from the Executive NOMS have now agreed to implement a 5 point plan to address this issue and bring all prisons in England and Wales in line with other work places.

As part of the 5 point plan NOMS will now commission air quality checks in four prisons and are seeking funding to test a further six. All data will be shared with the POA.

NOMS will look to introduce smoke free wings in some prisons, although this will need to be monitored as it has to be a voluntary process.

NOMS has established a project board to oversee the work and ensure prisons are smoke free as soon as possible.

NOMS are seeking assurances from NHS providers and Public Health England and Wales to ensure sufficient support is available for cessation plans.

NOMS will test the effectiveness of Electronic Cigarettes for staff and prisoners in addition to patches.

NOMS will be seeking additional resources to ensure all 5 work streams are effective and the operational stability of prisons is maintained throughout transition.

Whilst these actions are well over due they are welcomed by the Executive. The POA will be seeking regular reports from prisons involved in pilots as well as progress reports from NOMS on work with other organisations.

It is clear that there will be no size fits all for prisons, but the aim has to be for prisons to be smoke free.

Please draw the contents of this circular to your members attention.

Further information will be promulgated in due course.

Yours sincerely


General Secretary