A Government Response

A month or so back I wrote to my MP about smoking bans in prisons. More recently I reported on escalating prison violence. I wrote:

Prisoners are now being forced to stop smoking. We are constantly told that nicotine is highly addictive – so isn’t this like imposing cold turkey on heroin addicts (something we don’t do)? It amounts to cruel and unusual punishment being inflicted on them, over and above the sentences they are already serving.

It would appear that any barbarity is now permissible in the name of “health”.

I’ve now received the response of the Department of Justice, the body of which I reproduce below:


It seems a rather long-winded response, couched in language that seems to skate around ever saying anything at all exact.

As far as I can tell, it seems to be saying that prisoners in UK prisons are indeed going to be forced to stop smoking.

But others may be able to tease quite different meanings from the bureaucratic prose.

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19 Responses to A Government Response

  1. Roobeedoo2 says:

    No, you’re spot on. They are committed to a smoke-free estate.

  2. Cecily Collingridge says:

    I agree with Roobeedoo. They are being forced to quit. It’s an additional punishment. As many prisoners have mental health problems, the consequences could be devastating.

  3. harleyrider1978 says:

    How can they claim duty of care to protect when theres no proof of harm!

    The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) could not even produce evidence that passive smoke is harmful inside, this is what they wrote prior to the smoking ban in article 9 OC255/15 9 “The evidential link between individual circumstances of exposure to risk in exempted premises will be hard to establish. In essence, HSE cannot produce epidemiological evidence to link levels of exposure to SHS to the raised risk of contracting specific diseases and it is therefore difficult to prove health-related breaches of the Health and Safety at Work Act”. The reason the ban was brought in under the Health Act 2006, and not by the HSE, because no proof of harm was needed with the Health Act 2006, and the HSE have to have proof, seems the DM has lost rational thought about anything smoke related.


    • harleyrider1978 says:

      You cant make a claim without proof! how can they get away with it but in a tyranny run government they can do whatever they want like stalins gulags

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      The reason the ban was brought in under the Health Act 2006, and not by the HSE, because no proof of harm was needed with the Health Act 2006, and the HSE have to have proof

      • harleyrider1978 says:

        evidenced based another ASHITE TERM invented because there is no evidence pharmaceutical NRTs work except massive failures of 98.7%

        Frank Id nail their asses with this in return and don’t forget suicides from chantix

        NRT Failure Rate Soars to 98.4%

        New revelations confirm that Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) has a documented long term failure rate of 98.4%.

        PRLog (Press Release) – Apr 03, 2009 –
        New revelations confirm that Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) has a documented long term failure rate of 98.4%.

        NRT is the Government’s recommended treatment for its smoking cessation programmes and is heavily funded by the tax-payer.

        Pro-choice group Freedom2choose are alarmed at these revelations and the obvious waste of tax-payers’ funds. Colin Grainger, vice chairman of the group states, “NRT products are obviously unfit for the purpose for which they are sold. This is fraud, wrong and immoral.”

        Freedom2choose have previously highlighted alternative ways to successfully quit smoking, including the Allen Carr method, with a documented success rate of 58% for those choosing to give up. The Allen Carr method even promises a money back guarantee to those that don’t successfully quit.

        “More worryingly,” continues Colin Grainger “is the shock that the scientists who put the study together even work for the manufacturers of NRT. This clearly shows how the Big Pharmaceutical companies influence the outcome of studies.”

        The revelations were originally made public by long-term anti-smoking campaigner Professor Michael Siegel who states “With a long-term smoking cessation percentage of only 1.6%, one can hardly call NRT treatment an “effective” intervention. In fact, the logical conclusion from this paper is that NRT was a dismal intervention.”

        Friday, July 27, 2012
        Pharmaceutical Nicotine and Chantix: 93% Failure Rate Reconfirmed

        A study published in the European Journal of Internal Medicine indicates that pharmaceutical nicotine and Chantix (varenicline) had 93% failure rates at two inner city academic health center clinics with predominantly Medicaid patients (abstract here).


      Nicely done Harley!


  4. “Does not sufficiently reduce the risk”? I wonder what you’d get in response to a query as to what standard are they using as “sufficient”? My guess is that a truer statement from them would be “does not reduce the risk to zero.”

    In which case the same argument could be made against a prison system keeping prisoners in cells inside a common building. The shared formaldehyde emissions, 3,000 other VOCs, and disease germs from their bodies are simply unacceptable in terms of NOMS “duty of care to protect all staff and prisoners” from the enforced exposure to such risks. The taxpayers will be happy to help out in this regard as prisons are redesigned to give each prisoner his or her own private little cottage where they will not be poisoned by their fellow incarcerees.

    Yes, it *will* cost a bit of money, but remember, the “duty of care” MUST be upheld.

    – MJM

    • Some French bloke says:

      “in order to achieve a measured approach to the risk posed by second-hand smoke”

      As Frank justly noted more than once, there’s never been anything accurate about any of TC’s “measures”, including those concerning first-hand smoking, yet their statements are so peremptory: 90% of lung cancers are supposed to be due to smoking! Yet, most long-term and population-wide statistics give the lie to that.

  5. Rose says:

    Smoking rates could be ‘dramatically reduced’

    22 / 4 / 2016

    “A new report by Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), endorsed by 27 health and mental health organisations, sets out recommendations for how smoking rates for people with a mental health condition could be dramatically reduced.
    These include improved training of healthcare staff, better access to stop smoking medication and a move towards smokefree mental health settings.

    In 2013, the rate of smoking according to the Health Survey for England (HSE) was 21 per cent for the general population and 40 per cent for those with a long standing mental health condition. The evidence from the HSE indicates that smoking rates among those with a mental health condition have gone unchanged since the 1990s, while smoking among the general population has declined significantly.

    As a consequence the health inequalities faced by those with a mental health condition have grown over the last 20 years.
    The 12 ambitions of this report feed into ASH’s overarching ambition to combat this growing inequality.

    Ambition: Smoking among people with a mental health condition declines to be less than 5 per cent by 2035, with an interim target of 35 per cent by 2020.

    To be achieved by:

    Ambition 1: National and local leadership drives forward action that reduces smoking among those with a mental health condition.

    Ambition 2: People with a mental health condition are empowered to take action to reduce their smoking.

    Ambition 3: Staff working in all mental health settings see reducing smoking among service users as part of their core role.

    Ambition 4: Services for people with mental health conditions provide effective advice and support to quit smoking and access to appropriate specialist stop smoking models.

    Ambition 5: Local authority funded stop smoking services (SSS) effectively support those with a mental health condition to quit smoking.

    Ambition 6: People with mental health conditions who access mainstream physical health services are routinely advised to quit smoking and sign-posted to effective support.

    Ambition 7: People with mental health conditions who are not yet ready or willing to quit are supported through harm reduction strategies.

    Ambition 8: All inpatient and community mental health sites are smokefree by 2018, through full implementation of NICE PH48 guidance and embedding support for service users who smoke.

    Ambition 9: Support to quit smoking for those with complex multiple needs and across different settings is appropriate and consistent.

    Ambition 10: Data regarding smoking status and progress towards quitting are collected in a timely and appropriate way in all settings and appropriately shared.

    Ambition 11: Populations at risk of developing mental health conditions are identified and appropriate interventions put in place to prevent uptake of smoking.

    Ambition 12: Robust evidence into the most effective means to sustainably reduce smoking rates among those with a mental health condition is available.”

    Result – people with mental conditions do not seek treatment but try to cope on their own.
    “Populations at risk of developing mental health conditions” because of the constant bombardment by ASH, lie low and deny ever smoking at all.

    • nisakiman says:

      Naturally it doesn’t even occur to them to ask themselves why people with mental health problems smoke more than the general population.

      • Harleyrider1978 says:

        Cincinnati Ohio had a 40 bed detox facility before they went smokefree they had a 60% occupancy rate after banning smoking they couldn’t fill 3 beds so they asked the state for an exemption before they had to close.

    • Smoking Lamp says:

      They need to add Ambition 13: ASH is shut down in response to fraud, waste, and advocating hate.

  6. Rose says:

    When Did You Last See Your Father?

    “This famous nineteenth century painting by W. F. Yeames, shows a Royalist family who have been captured by the enemy. The boy is being questioned about the whereabouts of his father by a panel of Parliamentarians.”

  7. Rose says:

    Now Brexit could put £3 on the price of 20 cigarettes in the latest dire prediction to emerge about life outside the EU
    30 May 2016

    OECD report suggests leaving EU could push up tobacco tariffs by 70%

    “Brexit could drive up the price of cigarettes by almost a third, according to a respected international think-tank.
    The risk has been raised in a report from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

    The body predicted that leaving the EU would mean tariffs of at least 70 per cent being imposed on tobacco under World Trade Organisation rules.
    That could increase the price of a pack of 20 from around £9.60 to £12.74.
    A smoker on ten a day could end up spending almost £600 a year extra.

    The UK currently imports just under half of its tobacco products from the EU.

    However, Leave campaigners insisted tariffs would only rise to 70 per cent if the Chancellor allowed it to happen. The Treasury would be able to choose a lower figures, they told The Sun.
    A source told the newspaper: ‘We can kick out politicians if we vote Leave, we can’t kick out the Brussels bureaucrats if we vote Remain.’

  8. harleyrider1978 says:

    Dave Copeland

    Good article by Boris Johnson on the EU’s economic impact on the UK

    The only continent with weaker economic growth than Europe is Antarctica

    Yes indeed, let us talk about economics. Let’s look at the real economic impact of the European Union on Britain and Europe. We can dismiss most of the claims for…



  9. harleyrider1978 says:
  10. Pingback: Enjoying Life | Bolton Smokers Club

  11. caprizchka says:

    The prisons have “voluntary smoke free areas”. How Orwellian.

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