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18 Jun, 2013 11:55

Russia to introduce no smoking cells for remand prisoners

Russia to introduce no smoking cells for remand prisoners

All Russian pre-trial detention centers might soon have separate cells for smokers and non-smokers, a top justice ministry official has announced.

According to Valery Trofimov, the head of a department in the Justice Ministry that oversees and prisons and penal colonies in Russia, separate cells will appear in remand centers soon.

The move is connected with the general anti-tobacco law that came into force on June 1 this year – which makes it illegal to smoke in public places and institutions, but allowed state agencies in charge of detention centers to determine their own tobacco use policy.

Trofimov explained that the rules would only be for pre-trial facilities as penal colonies already have dedicated places for smoking and the ministry expected no problems as the new law came into force.

The official also added that his agency wanted to stop selling tobacco in special colonies for under age inmates and at the same time to recommend that parents and other visitors stopped bringing cigarettes to such places.

According to the ministry, a total ban on smoking in Russian prisons and prison camps is currently not possible as 95 percent of all inmates are smokers.

This spring Great Britain announced plans to completely ban smoking in prisons – both indoors and in exercise yards. According to the media the ban will come into force within the next two years.

Some of the US states have outlawed indoor smoking in prisons and some facilities have imposed a total ban, especially after local courts refused to recognize smoking deprivation as cruel and unusual punishment.