Smoking rates among prisoners are extremely high. Around 85% of new prisoners smoke and once in prison, people generally continue to smoke. The declines in smoking rates seen over the last 20 years are not reflected among the prison population. However, statistics show that almost half of new prisoners who smoke are interested in stopping.*
From 1 July 2015 all Victorian Prison locations became smokefree. Quit Victoria are supporting Corrections Victoria through the implementation of the smoking ban by providing tailored smoking care to Victorian prisoners.
Smoking cessation support for prisoners
Preparation for the smoking ban was in effect for 18 months prior to the ban to allow staff and prisoners to make the transition. Customised quitting support included the Quitters are Winners four-session group program run by trained Quit Prison Educators for the prison setting.
Quit Educators have a direct relationship with correctional services and provide regular support groups.
Prisoners have access to high level counselling support via the Quitline. Quitline is a telephone support and coaching service that provides a confidential, non-judgmental, tailored service to assist people to stop or cut down their smoking.
Further information email Quit.HP@cancervic.org.au
*AIHW 2013. The health of Australia's prisoners 2012. Cat. no. PHE 170. Canberra: AIHW.