Opinion

LETTER: Prison smoking ban is like a time bomb

LETTER TO EDITOR: With reference to E. Rowe's letter (FCC 28/11/14 and printed below), firstly I am a non-smoker and have never been an inmate in a prison, however I was a prison officer in New Zealand for seven years.

Deprivation of liberty is the punishment for crime, they should not be punished further in prison, unless of course they break the rules.

Taking away a dangerous prisoner's right to smoke is like setting a time bomb, it will go off.

Your insulting words to smokers in general I find offensive.

Do you have a habit that would be hard to break other than taking a swipe at people who don't fit into your category of desirables, if so do people insult you over it?

Or is it a habit you undertake behind closed doors in order to avoid embarrassment?

- Jack McKeown, Toogoom

Call for public ban

LETTER TO EDITOR: Smoking is a filthy and selfish habit, regardless of what smokers themselves think.

A captive public is exposed to passive toxic smoke, simply by walking past areas where smoking is permitted.

We breathe the same air.

It is an insult to think governments are providing cigarette alternatives to prisoners and hospital patients, costing taxpayers even more pain.

It is a double-edged sword to allow those who have been incarcerated or those whose illnesses are a direct result of smoking to continue in the habits which led to their demise with no thought of those who involuntarily inhale someone's poisonous cigarette smoke, namely the majority who choose not to smoke.

Smokers relinquish their rights when they break the law, or fall foul to a smoke-related illnesses.

It would do us all a favour to make them go cold turkey.

As for not fining the guilty defying restrictions and disregarding bans in non-smoking precincts, councils need to take this more seriously.

The fact that very few offenders are fined for breaking the laws governing their right or not to smoke displays the hypocrisy at all levels of government.

The tobacco industry is hard-hit by government tax and legislation, but brings in a phenomenal amount of revenue for government coffers.

Any attempts to reduce the rate of smoking hurts the government's hip pocket, more than smokers', continually exposed to rising costs of tobacco products.

Teens who begin smoking for social reasons cannot fully appreciate the consequences, financially and physically, when they start.

Ban smoking in all indoor and outdoor public places.

Should smokers be offended over the restrictions of their rights to choose this deadly habit, let them create an alternative universe, where their consequences don't harm a vulnerable public, especially children.

- E. Rowe, Marcoola

Topics:  jail, letter to editor, maryborough correctional centre, prison, smoking ban




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