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Scotland: Forest criticises prison smoking ban

Forest has criticised the prison smoking ban that will be enforced in all Scottish prisons from today [30th November] and called for designated smoking areas.

Director Simon Clark said:

“No-one has the right to smoke in jail but smoking is one of the few pleasures many prisoners have.

“At the very least inmates should be allowed to light up outside, in an exercise yard or designated smoking area.”

Warning ministers about the “unintended consequences” of a prison smoking ban, Clark added:

“Evidence from England suggests that banning smoking completely has serious unintended consequences because it can fuel violence and increase the use of illegal drugs.”

Responding to plans to give vaping kits to inmates who smoke, he said:

“Vaping may satisfy some prisoners but for many people vaping is still no substitute for smoking.

“Why not offer e-cigarettes to those who want to quit, and allow them to vape in their cells, but permit designated smoking areas for those who prefer to smoke?”

Simon Clark

Mission & Vision



Forest’s mission is to protect the interests of adults who choose to smoke or consume tobacco.


Our key aims and objectives are to:

  • counteract the “denormalisation” of smoking, and smokers
  • prevent further restrictions on the purchase and consumption of tobacco
  • establish closer links with other tobacco-friendly groups at home and abroad
  • build support among consumers of tobacco and other similarly threatened groups
  • highlight the increasingly intrusive nature of Big Government in the lives of private individuals