Plans to ban smoking in prisons must be carefully thought through.
I believe that prisoners must forfeit the right to vote and should spend their time usefully, learning skills to benefit society on their release, not lounging around watching TV and playing games.
Smoking is a lifestyle choice and not one to be recommended for obvious health and financial reasons and in principle I don't think it is their right to smoke while behind bars.
But many smokers feel it reduces stress and it is important that stress levels are minimised for the sake of prison stability and safety.
I understand the concern of prison officers and non-smoking prisoners about the potential risks of passive smoking but surely it must be possible to have smoking and non-smoking cells and it should still be allowed in the open air in exercise yards.
The government should not rush into banning smoking at the 136 prisons in England and Wales. I know there have been legal challenges by the anti faction but I suspect that there could be such challenges by those in favour citing human rights.
In my book it is not a right but as 80% of prisoners smoke serious regard must be given to minimising discord and such a ban would inevitably lead to a black market in tobacco, just as there currently is with drugs,