Kiwi prisoners told to swop their cigarettes for carrots

2011-05-31 09:01

Wellington – New Zealand prisoners, who will not be allowed to smoke from July 1, are being told to sing and eat carrots instead.

About two-thirds of the 8 700 prisoners in the country’s jails are smokers, but they lost the right to buy cigarettes and tobacco last week in preparation for the coming ban on possession of cigarettes.

Prisons have been told to give every prisoner two carrot sticks a day as part of a quit-smoking policy, the Southland Times reported. Under a trial on cost and size, one jumbo carrot is said to provide 16 carrot sticks.

“It’s the whole oral thing,” Beven Hanlon, president of the Corrections Association of New Zealand, told the paper.

“If they have got something in their mouth, they won’t be looking for a cigarette to put in it. I don’t think it is one of the best ideas, but it is worth a try.”

Prisoners are being offered a variety of activities, including singing, as well as healthy food to help cope with withdrawal symptoms, Brendan Anstiss, general manager for prison services, told Radio New Zealand.

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