Wakefield prison bans staff, but not prisoners, from smoking

Staff have be banned from smoking at Wakefield’s maximum-security prison – but inmates will still be allowed to light up.

The move comes ahead of the introduction of new legislation restricting smoking in public spaces and workplaces, expected to come into effect next summer.

Details of the new law are currently under public consultation and are expected to be confirmed next month.

Wakefield is the first maximum-security prison to introduce a clean air policy.

David Spencer, health and safety adviser for Wakefield Prison, said: “To take such a bold step shows the prison is leading the way in staff welfare and tackling health issues.”

Eastern Wakefield Primary Care Trust is to hold two stop smoking classes at the prison for staff wanting to kick the habit.

But pro-smoking group Forest has criticised the new prison rules. “It seems rather ridiculous to allow one group of people to smoke and not to allow another group.

“I would imagine prison is a very stressful place for people to work in and there is no doubt that smoking is a great stress reliever,” it said.

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