28 June 2010

The Government’s announcement to make all New Zealand prisons smokefree by July next year is strongly supported by the New Zealand Medical Association (NZMA).

“This will have a positive effect on the health of prison staff and prisoners. We commend the Government for this positive initiative,” says NZMA Acting Chair Dr Paul Ockelford.

The Smokefree Coalition, of which the NZMA is a member, supports the vision of a smokefree New Zealand by 2020.

“Extending smokefree environments, such as in prisons, is an important aspect of achieving this vision.”

“New Zealand has long been at the forefront of smokefree legislation and we encourage the Government to continue implementing smokefree policies that will reduce smoking related illnesses, whether from smoking or being exposed to secondhand smoke,” says Dr Ockelford.

A comprehensive smoking cessation programme to assist those in prison to quit smoking, including the provision of nicotine replacement therapy, will be essential.