Creeping Prison Smoking Ban?

H/T Rose:

Prison smoking ban overturned by court of appeal

A compulsory, immediate ban on smoking in prisons has been overturned by the court of appeal, allowing the Ministry of Justice to introduce its own voluntary, phased controls.

Bans affecting three jails in Wales came into effect in January. The MoJ said it still intended to impose restrictions on tobacco but would have greater freedom in implementing its policy…

Government lawyers had warned at a recent hearing that a “particularly vigorous” ban on smoking in state prisons could cause discipline problems and risk the safety of staff and inmates. The cautious approach to implementation follows warnings from prison governors that it risks increasing instability in jails.

More than four in five prisoners smoke and, while a ban on smoking in communal areas has been in force for some time, inmates have been allowed to smoke in their cells.

Prog cautions:

‘MoJ sources said the ruling would not affect the phased introduction of the ban on smoking in prisons in England and Wales. It will eventually be implemented in all 136 prisons in England and Wales.

A Prison Service spokesperson said: “The result of this appeal means we are able to roll out smoke-free prisons in a safe and secure way. While the Health Act 2006 will not legally bind the crown properties, including prisons, the smoking ban will be implemented as a matter of policy.’

I wonder how they plan to roll out smoke-free prisons ‘in a safe and secure way’? Perhaps they’re planning on a creeping, salami-slice ban? Like no smoking between 2 am and 8 am. And then between 1 am and 11 am. And so on until no smoking ever, at any time.

Or until the inmates pile up furniture and burn the prison down?

And elsewhere:

Nigel Farage endorses Donald Trump: “He would make a great US president”.

I distinctly remember that Nigel Farage backed off from Trump pretty much just as fast as everybody else. You know, all those people who wanted to deny Trump entry to the UK. I remember because I was rather disappointed by him. So what’s changed?

And finally:


EU decides that tobacco retailers must wear black capes and carry scythes

It could be a spoof, of course. But these days how do you tell?

About Frank Davis

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30 Responses to Creeping Prison Smoking Ban?

  1. Smoking Lamp says:

    Despite claims from the antismokers that smoking is done and there is no room for debate over smoking, prohibition is still not an assured outcome. In India the Supreme Court is looking at the risks of smoking (which is infuriating the antis). See: “SC: Any proof that smoking causes cancer?: Times of India

    • Harleyrider1978 says:

      Well I be dammed. Imagine that a court actually not buying the BS.

    • Joe L. says:

      The Supreme Court of India is requesting proof that smoking causes cancer, thereby boldly asserting that decades of pseudoscientific propaganda isn’t ‘proof’ of anything. Fantastic! This case has the potential to fracture the false foundations of Tobacco Control, and it’s long overdue. Thanks, SL. We need to keep a close eye on this!

      • Frank J says:

        Exactly what Judge Nimmo Smith in the Mctear case required. Guess what? Yep, they couldn’t.

        Didn’t seem to bother them, though. They carried on focusing on the 650 idiots on the green benches. A lot easier.

    • beobrigitte says:

      ….. the same outdated anti-smoker behaviour and comments! I must say, they are getting rather boring by now!

      Wouldn’t it make sense to cite some links to proof this anti-smoker blah-blah? [ I can only guess that tobacco control&friends financed “research” raises further questions, such as: why am I to believe such “research” as it cannot be termed INDEPENDENT? ]

      I do wonder if living proof, such as myself, that smoking does NOT “cause” cancer is acceptable in court. More than 40 years of active smoking and still being in good health must account for something! Perhaps this also proves that a multitude of factors are required for a cancer to manifest itself?

      Isn’t it remarkable that the anti-smokers’ scaremongering prompted a judge to ask a common sense question?

  2. Rose says:

    For some reason, every time I read her reply, I hear it uttered in a staccato bark of anger, but that’s not possible, she’s far too professional.

    “A prisoner with health problems is considering taking his battle to make smoking in prison a crime to the Supreme Court, the highest court in the land, following a Court of Appeal defeat.”

    Deborah Arnott, chief executive of health charity ASH said:

    “The evidence is clear, the level of tobacco smoke in prisons is so high it is harmful to the health of staff and inmates, which exposes the Government to compensation claims.

    “This is the driving force behind the Ministry of Justice decision to roll out a smoking ban in all prisons in England and Wales and the Black judgment will make no difference to that decision.”

    – Deborah Arnott, chief executive of health charity ASH

    Now I must admit that riding on the back of a known pervert to achieve their aims is a surprising new low as I would have expected them to wait for someone a little more sympathetic.

    “His character is that each time he comes to being considered for release he plays nicely and gets out, only to prey on young women once again.”


    I don’t predict a riot: jail smoking ban need not spell unrest
    23 July 2015
    By Deborah Arnott

    “The cultural change that has taken place everywhere else in society needs to be extended to prisons so that inmates and staff no longer have to put up with the harm caused by second-hand smoke. After it happens, just as with pubs and bars going smoke-free, we’ll all wonder what the fuss was about.”

    Of course, Deborah Arnott will be nowhere near when the riot starts.
    Anti-tobacco never gets it’s hands dirty, it just leaves others to pick up the pieces.

    • beobrigitte says:

      Mr Humber said non-smoking prisoners and prison staff were being denied “the same legal protection from the dangers posed by second-hand smoke as the rest of us”.

      He added:

      “We are consulting with Mr Black and very seriously considering taking the case to the Supreme Court because it raises issues of public importance.

      “Mr Black says he witnesses unauthorised smoking by other prisoners and prison staff on a daily basis at HMP Wymott. He says nothing is done by prison staff to enforce the restrictions.”

      – Sean Humber, representing Mr Black

      Perhaps Deborah Arnott would like to choose who to sit next to in a train; Mr. Black or a smoker.
      My guess is she will choose Mr. Black. Hoping to get lucky for once in her life?

  3. Rose says:

    Sometimes you end up in obscure places finding out what you want to know.

    Apparently the Ban on Smoking in Cars with Children has been a Huge Success!

    “Deborah Arnott, Chief Executive of the Action on Smoking & Health (ASH) campaign group, suggested that there may have been no fines because most people already realise the risks.
    “This law isn’t about fining people, it’s about changing behaviour so children are protected,” she commented.

    “There’s strong public support for the law to stop smoking in cars with children so we expect a similar impact to seatbelts legislation which increased the proportion of people wearing seatbelts from a quarter to over 90%.”

    Alistair Martin, the British Lung Foundation’s Head of Policy, added that “the real measure of the law’s success would not be the number of fines given out, but whether the number of children exposed to second-hand smoke in cars declines, as recorded in the Health and Social Care Information Centre’s ‘Smoking, Drinking and Drug Use’survey”.

    • Harleyrider1978 says:

      Funny the news was reporting it ad the cops wouldn’t enforce it. Not compliance.

      • Rose says:

        That’s the art of spin for you, Harley. Always make the best of a bad job..

        • Joe L. says:

          And a hell of a desperate spin it is. She’s basically saying, “The law isn’t working, but it’s working just fine.” She admits the law is about instilling fear into people in order to get them to change their behaviors, but if the law is known to not be enforced, it will have no effect. Arnott is either stupid or a horrible liar (my money’s on both).

        • Rose says:

          She’s just very good at her job, Joe.

          I and the rest of the British public used to be a trusting lot and words like astroturfing and spin were new to us 20 years ago.

        • Some French bloke says:

          “words like astroturfing and spin were new to us 20 years ago”

          Of course, but the practice of “making the best of a bad job” far antedates expressions such as “spin doctor”, which merely reflect the emergence of new PR techniques. Some 76 years ago, Henry Miller had already spotted a pattern that is clearly political in nature:

          “The medical cult operates very much like the War Office — the triumphs which they broadcast are sops thrown out to conceal death and disaster.” (The Colossus of Maroussi (1939), p. 69)

    • beobrigitte says:

      Apparently the Ban on Smoking in Cars with Children has been a Huge Success!


      Thanks for the entertainment, Rose. Debbie at it’s best:
      “There’s strong public support for the law to stop smoking in cars with children so we expect a similar impact to seatbelts legislation which increased the proportion of people wearing seatbelts from a quarter to over 90%.”

      Strong public support? Whom did she ask? Lets guess…..

  4. Cecily Collingridge says:

    “EU decides that tobacco retailers must wear black capes and carry scythes
    It could be a spoof, of course. But these days how do you tell?” Quite… you can’t!

    Re. Smoking Lamp’s post on the court case in India – apart from lung cancer, India has a high incidence of COPD that traditionally had been attributed to the poor air quality mainly because of the reliance on charcoal/wood/dung/coal as fuel for cooking, etc. The anti-smokers want to pin the blame on tobacco. However, there is a difficulty diagnosing COPD adequately as the country has an acute shortage of the necessary spirometry equipment to do this.

    O/T I did Public Health England’s stupid quiz that’s part of their new One Life campaign. It has already been branded as patronising. See interview on ITV –

    I really object to be treated like a child. The quiz design is so flawed. It forced me to make choices that had no resemblance to my realty and you cannot skip questions. Therefore the analysis was incorrect. If you put garbage in, you get garbage out.

    For example, I am underweight. The only way to indicate this was to move the sliding scale in the ‘About you’ section to the farthest end, closest to the ‘lean and mean’ descriptor. What does ‘mean’ mean in the context of becoming skeletal? This did not stop the programme stating at the end of the eating section “When it comes to food…, you certainly know your onions! Your answers suggest you’re likely to be following a healthy, balanced diet. Keep it up and you’ll really feel the benefits.” What patronising codswallop!

    The media coverage tends to state the cost as £3.5m. According to Marketing magazine, the cost is £6m!
    “The campaign, created by M&C Saatchi, is marked by a TV spot targeted at 40- to 60-year-olds who may have slipped into poor eating and exercise habits over a long period of time. Of the £6m launch budget, £3.5m has been spent on media, with the TV spot supported by programmatic and social media ads.

    • Cecily Collingridge says:

      PS I should have added after “closest to the ‘lean and mean’ descriptor” that this is opposite to ‘fat and flabby’.

    • beobrigitte says:

      O/T I did Public Health England’s stupid quiz that’s part of their new One Life campaign. It has already been branded as patronising.

      In general I give these weird things a miss. You will NEVER be able to get a VALID result simply because nonsense like this quiz are designed for you to walk into the health fear trap.

      I did mention the BBC at it’s best when giving the salt-whinger-lady much air time. The food industry does put on the labels of their product the amount of salt + a ‘traffic light’ on their products. The whining lady insisted that the public is too stupid to understand this. In other words we adults cannot be trusted to be adults. (?)
      After that (idiotic) broadcast I had to give the BBC a miss and started to watch RT news. There I did notice something else: “charities” use the ad slots for begging during EVERY short break. (How much does such an add cost on average? – I rest my case.)

  5. Smudger says:

    The last piece/pic is clearly a spoof: the tobacco products are on full display, not safely hidden behind shutters. Thank goodness the all-knowing and benevolent state has seen fit to hide such things from view. (How did we ever manage before?)

    But how irresponsible of you to reproduce such a DEADLY PICTURE on the internet! I’m suing for ninth-hand smoke exposure. WON’T SOMEBODY THINK OF THE CHILDREN??!?

  6. Rose says:

    Further on the Prison Smoking Ban

    Q – When is the secondhand smoke not the secondhand smoke we were led to believe?

    A – When it’s the fumes from illicit psychoactive substances.

    Bid to speed up prison smoking ban
    18 January 2016

    “The Prison Officers Association (POA) is to launch a judicial review against the Prison Service to speed up an outright ban on smoking in prisons.”

    Crushing chest pain’

    “The POA says there have been several instances of officers being taken to hospital suffering from the effects of breathing in the fumes of drugs like Spice and Black Mamba – a type of synthetic cannabis which is smoked and is a Class B drug.

    Last week it was told about an incident where seven prison officers reported suffering ill effects from fumes after a large quantity was found in a cell.

    This programme has seen anonymous testimonials from prison officers who have suffered from the effects of breathing in legal highs.

    One reported a “sweet smell and smoky atmosphere” on the landing, then his head feeling like it “might pop”, his heart racing and generally feeling cold and sweaty, while he was unable to remember his journey home from work.

    Another reported a “crushing chest pain”, feeling dizzy and then a feeling like a severe hangover for several days.

    Mr Gillan said: “These new psychoactive substances are out of control. They are damaging to prisoners’ health, damaging to prison officers’ health and something urgently needs to be done about this.”

    No wonder the prison officers are getting ill.

    While all this is going on –

    Second-hand smoke in four English prisons: an air quality monitoring study
    12 October 2015
    Accepted: 20 January 2016

    To measure levels of indoor pollution in relation to smoking in four English prisons.


    PM2.5 data were collected for average periods of 6.5 h from 48 locations on 25 wing landings where smoking was permitted in cells, on 5 non-smoking wings, 13 prisoner cells, and personal monitoring of 22 staff members. Arithmetic mean PM2.5 concentrations were significantly higher on smoking than non-smoking wing landings (43.9 μg/m3 and 5.9 μg/m3 respectively, p < 0.001) and in smoking than non-smoking cells (226.2 μg/m3 and 17.0 μg/m3 respectively, p < 0.001). Staff members wore monitors for an average of 4.18 h, during which they were exposed to arithmetic mean PM2.5 concentration of 23.5 μg/m3.


    The concentration of PM2.5 pollution in smoking areas of prisons are extremely high. Smoking in prisons therefore represents a significant health hazard to prisoners and staff members."

    You have got to admit that's clever,
    It doesn't say in the abstract what was burning , it just says smoke and particulate matter.

    Here’s one way to be sure.that it really is particulate matter from burning tobacco in their air monitors.


    “Many plants of the Solanaceae family, which includes the genus Nicotiana, of which the tobacco plant is a member, contain solanesol; particularly those that contain trace amounts of nicotine.
    These include the tomato, eggplant, potato, and pepper.

    The potential interference due to these sources is negligible, cooking being the only likely potential source of interference. An interference of this type would bias results high, overestimating the contribution of ETS to RSP.”
    http: //

    • smokingscot says:

      Well excuse the hell out me for just taking a gander at the air quality levels in London, more specifically the PM2.5 particles. It ranged from a high of 166 μg/m3 and a low of 27 μg/m3 over the past two days!!!

      This is outdoor air quality, so it seems the researchers happened upon a prison that’s inherently less polluted than the stuff people in London meander through on a day to day basis.

      Now Ms. Arnott always manages to get herself invited to the COPD conferences, so let’s just take a shuftie at what the lady can expect in New Delhi. Well today it happens to range between 308 μg and 30 μg.

      and averages 230.9 μg over a 24 hour period during the winter months

      Bet not one of them will cancel on account of killer air! ‘Cause it’s not is why.

  7. DP says:

    Dear Mr Davis

    Happy no smoking day. I had the first cigarette of my 3 a year habit today, courtesy of the anti-smoker zealots and charlatans. Up the smokers!

    I wonder if the smoking ban in prisons will have the same effect it had on pubs – no ‘customers’ and about one third of the premises closed.


  8. Cecily Collingridge says:

    Sorry, O/T again. I’ve just watched a video on Youtube that I recommend –

    Please ignore the title (Cochrane UK & Ireland Annual Symposium 2014 Closing Plenary). Skip the first 18mins and go straight into BJ Cunningham’s presentation ‘Profiting from the truth’. It’s as much about life as branding and very entertaining. He’s a smoker and libertarian for those who aren’t familiar with him and he has a go at anti-smoking lobbyists. He tells of winding up a rep from ASH once who then walked out: “Passive smokers should buy their own and pay their tax like everyone else. I don’t understand why they’re getting away with it.”

    It also gives some insight into international trade, the workings of the EU and rules governing cigs, our tax system and shows how very quickly things can change.

    His case study is the story of Death cigarettes… remember those in the 90s? (Caveat – personally, I do question the premise that smoking kills upon which his brand was built or that a horrible death is guaranteed – that’s just propaganda.)

    • Frank Davis says:

      Interesting talk. It reminded me of my Coffin Nails idea.

      However, I also no longer believe that smoking kills. I’m not sure I ever did.

      • Manfred says:

        Once, when in discussion with the National Health Committee in a Commonwealth County, the Chairman mentioned that ‘smoking kills’ and that was the sort of message we needed for the project we were working on. I interjected that it didn’t. Silence prevailed, followed by audible intakes of breath. In the quiet I explained that smoking, as they all know, merely raises the risk associated with a number of respiratory and vascular ailments, including bronchial cancer. The risk is not linear and it is dose dependent, approximating x30 absolute risk at 30 cigs a day. It is effectively undetectable at a level that approximates the usual range of atmospheric pollution. As the absolute risk of illness is small, the magnified risk, whilst x30 bigger, is also small. This subsumes that everyone smokes the same way, inhales in the same manner etc…, which they don’t. There are also substantial variations in individual genetics affecting illness predisposition.

        Were it known that smoking kills absolutely, it would be the sole province of the suicidal, deliberate or otherwise. Clearly it is not and equally clearly, today it is the most individual under-reported private indulgence, and professionally over-reported vice, and the beloved focus of those with an insatiable and obsessive desire to exert kontrolle.

  9. garyk30 says:

    Why is their even a need for a ban on cigarette smoking in prisons?

    Prisons are the guards workplaces and air quality should be the responsibility of the appropriate govt regulators, such as OSHA in the USA.

    OSHA has a permissible exposure level for such fine particles in the air of 15 mg/m3(15,000 ug/m3) averaged over an 8 hour period.

    “Arithmetic mean PM2.5 concentrations were significantly higher on smoking than non-smoking wing landings (43.9 μg/m3 and 5.9 μg/m3 respectively, p < 0.001) and in smoking than non-smoking cells (226.2 μg/m3 and 17.0 μg/m3 respectively, p < 0.001). Staff members wore monitors for an average of 4.18 h, during which they were exposed to arithmetic mean PM2.5 concentration of 23.5 μg/m3."

    are all well below the 15,000 ug/m3 that is the safe level of exposure.

    • garyk30 says:

      In the USA,neither of the air quality regulators(OSHA or EPA) have any regulations about SHS/ETS as such.

      • Smudger says:

        It’s almost as if…

        …hang on, I’ll get it…

        …it’s almost as if antismoking isn’t about health at all.

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