The Estonian state is to ban smoking in prison exercise areas beginning Oct. 1.
Ministry of Justice spokesperson Dagne Mihkels told ERR that inmates in Estonian prisons are already currently limited to just three cigarettes per day, and that a greater change to the smoking policy took effect in 2010.
"Opportunities for smoking in prisons are already currently very limited," Mihkels explained. "Inmates can currently only smoke in the exercise area, and up to three cigarettes per day, which are dispensed to them by prison guards, so prisons don't facilitate chain smoking anyway. If needed, inmates will receive treatment for nicotine addiction."
The ministry spokesperson noted that the ban on smoking inside prisons entered into force in 2010.
"Before that, inmates could smoke as many cigarettes per day as they were able to buy," he recalled, "And so the 2010 change had a significantly greater impact than the current change. Some people at the time talked about the threat of a prison riot, but such thoughts remained more lore."
Editor: Aili Vahtla