A squeeze on cigarettes is already causing fights in prison, says an ex-inmate just released from Waikato's Rangipo Prison.and
Overseas, smoking bans in prisons have produced a few riots, black market smuggling, and some bizarre alternatives to tobacco by addicted inmates.Does this behaviour come as a surprise to anyone? Ban something and you give people the incentive to form black markets and to look for substitutes. And to use violence to obtain and control whatever supply there is available.
In Quebec, up to 70 inmates rioted and lit fires two days after a smoking ban came into force at the Orsainville detention centre near Quebec City in 2008. A total ban was rescinded the next day to allow smoking outside.
In Vermont, a thriving black market and prisoners smoking powdered juice led to an easing of its bans in 1992 to allow smoking outdoors.
The Edmonton Sun, meanwhile, reported that grass, leaves, tree bark, toast crumbs, pepper and nicotine patches had been smoked at a local prison, rolled in pages from the Bible and lit by sticking staples into electrical outlets.