The justice minister, Søren Pind, is preparing a bill to restrict smoking in prisons to outdoor areas.
Under the current rules, smoking is permitted in the prisoners’ cells and also in visiting areas.
Passive smoking concerns
But there are serious concerns about the harmful effect the second-hand smoke can have on prison employees and non-smoking inmates.
A recent survey by Fængselsforbundet, the prisons’ association, revealed that 70 percent of the employees at the nation’s prisons and detention centres resented the passive smoking they were subjected to.
Why should prisons be different?
“We see smoking bans everywhere in public, so why should prisons and detention centres be any different?” said Pind.
“Passive smoking has long been a health burden for our employees – we need to take it seriously.”
Should the bill proposal move smoothly through the consultation process, Pind expects to present it to Parliament in late October.