Cancer Council WA and the Australian Council on Smoking and Health (ACOSH) welcome the Department of Justice’s commitment to improving the health of people in prison, Corrective Services staff and visitors, by making Bandyup Women’s Prison the first smoke-free prison in WA.
Cancer Council WA CEO, Ashley Reid, said Cancer Council WA and ACOSH have been calling for smoke-free prisons in WA for many years.
“We welcome this announcement as we have been working closely with several prisons across WA since 2019 to increase access to quit support for both people in prison and staff, as well as access to more smoke-free areas,” Mr Reid said.
“WA is one of the last jurisdictions in Australia to implement smoke-free prisons, alongside the ACT.
“The Northern Territory was the first Australian jurisdiction to introduce smoke-free prisons in 2013, followed by Queensland in 2014, then Tasmania, Victoria, and New South Wales in 2015; and South Australia in 2019.
“This gives us the advantage of learning from the successful implementation of smoke-free prisons in all other jurisdictions and internationally.”
Mr Reid said Cancer Council WA is committed to supporting the Department of Justice through staff training and education, increasing access to quit smoking support for people in prison and staff, and providing appropriate and relevant resources for Bandyup Women’s Prison and other prisons throughout WA.
“The corrective service sector as whole and community services that engage with the sector have an important role to play in ensuring that there is access to quit smoking support and healthy smoke-free environments available to people at every point of contact with the justice system,” he said.
ACOSH Acting Chief Executive, Noni Walker, said while smoking has decreased substantially in the general community, people in prison continue to experience significant tobacco-related inequities. “Smoke-free prisons will result in significant health, financial and social benefits for people in prison, staff, and their loved ones,” Ms Walker said.
“This is an important opportunity to protect and promote the health and safety of people in prison, staff and visitors, now and in the future.”
People who are thinking of starting their quit journey (or who would like to help someone to quit) can access support by: