Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are increasingly viewed as a global health crisis, demonstrated by an escalating prevalence of diseases such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer, and respiratory disease. The four key modifiable risk factors identified for NCDs are smoking, alcohol, inadequate physical activity, and unhealthy diet. In 2008, 36 million of 57 million deaths worldwide were attributable to NCDs. Of these, 14 million were attributable to unhealthy diet, 3 million to insufficient physical activity, and 3 million to obesity
Tobacco-smoking prevalence has been decreasing in many high-income countries, but not in prison. We provide a summary of recent data on smoking in prison (United States, Australia, and Europe), and discuss examples of implemented policies for responding to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS), their health, humanitarian, and ethical aspects. We gathered data through a systematic literature review, and added the authors’ ongoing experience in the implementation of smoking policies outside and inside prisons in Australia and Europe. Detainees’ smoking prevalence varies between 64 per cent and 91.8 per cent, and can be more than three times as high as in the general population.
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