POLL: Should smoking be allowed in prisons?
The Prison Service is considering banning smoking from UK jails in response to concern over the health of staff and inmates - including at HMP Lincoln, North Sea Camp and Ranby.
It is estimated that around 80% of prisoners are regular smokers - and opponents of the proposals warn depriving the prison population of nicotine as well as alcohol could have a serious destabilising effect.
A ban would cover all areas of a prison complex, including individual cells and exercise yards, although it is unclear whether dedicated 'smoking rooms' would be provided, as in workplaces.
The decision - which could be implemented in 2015 following a pilot next year - comes after employees of the Prison Service launched legal action over the harmful effects of passive smoking.
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Inmates will be given nicotine patches as a substitute for the habit.
Currently smoking is allowed in cells as they are classed as 'domestic' as opposed to public spaces.
It is thought that two jails in south-west England will take part in the pilot.