Smoking will no longer be allowed in Scotland’s prisons, with a ban on tobacco taking effect from today.

Scotland has introduced a smoking ban in prisons as part of an effort to help inmates quit.

The Scottish Government said the ban is a further step towards its goal of creating a ‘tobacco-free generation’ by 2034.

Extensive preparation work was undertaken ahead of the implementation of the ban, with vaping devices issued earlier this month.

It is estimated about 72% of Scottish prisoners smoke regularly.

Vaping is still allowed and the Scottish Prison Service (SPS) has offered e-cigarette kits free of charge to prisoners who want them for a two-month period before being sold at a discounted rate until April.

The SPS chief executive said the ban would bring ‘significant improvements’.

Every possible support

Scottish Prison Service chief executive Colin McConnell said: ‘I fully understand how difficult it has been, and will continue to be, for many in our care to give up smoking and that is why we are committed to working alongside our partners in the NHS to provide every support possible to assist them.

‘Having a smoke-free prisons estate in Scotland will bring significant improvements to health, quality of life and sense of well-being, and assist in the reduction of health inequalities for all those in our care.’

Public Health Minister Joe FitzPatrick said: ‘Smoking kills around one in five people in Scotland, and four times as many people smoke in prisons as across Scotland as a whole.

‘Providing a smoke-free environment in prisons will help create a Scotland where we reduce the use of and harm from tobacco and help achieve our aim of a tobacco-free generation.’