If you're asking the question about whether you can smoke in jail in Australia, it's either out of curiosity (I hope that is the case for your sake), or you are a smoker who is facing potential jail time. If you're about to head to prison for the first time in Australia, I'm sorry to hear that, and I hope you can find the resources on this site helpful. You can read my articles on what Australian prison is like, jail food, how to survive in jail, whether it is dangerous, visits from family, jail slang and more. If you have more questions after reading my articles, you can also contact me here. I will respond to emails and if you need more info I also offer paid telephone consults.

So to answer the question about whether you can smoke in jail in Australia, there are two parts to it: whether you are ALLOWED to smoke in prison, and whether you CAN smoke in prison. Let's start with the first question:

Are you ALLOWED to smoke in prison in Australia?

Each state has their own rules regarding smoking in prison. In the good old days, you could smoke freely in prison and you could cigarettes on the buy-up forms. However, within the last decade or so, each state has started to ban smoking in their prisons, starting with the Northern Territory in 2013. Here is a list of each state or territory and their stance on smoking in jail.

New South Wales (NSW): Smoking has been banned in all correctional facilities in NSW since August 2015.

Victoria: Victoria implemented a complete smoking ban in all its prisons in July 2015.

Queensland: Queensland prisons became smoke-free in May 2014.

Western Australia (WA): WA introduced a total smoking ban in all prisons as of January 2019.

South Australia (SA): South Australia enforced a comprehensive smoking ban in all prisons starting in January 2019.

Tasmania: Tasmania's prison system also adheres to a smoke-free policy, which has been in effect since January 2015.

Australian Capital Territory (ACT): The ACT implemented a smoking ban in its correctional facilities in August 2014.

Northern Territory (NT): NT was the first to implement smoke-free policies in all of their prisons, in July 2013.

CAN you get cigarettes in prison in Australia?

While you now know that you are not allowed to smoke in jail in Australia, is it still possible to smoke while you are locked up? The good news is YES, you will be able to smoke in prison, as tobacco is smuggled in via various means. However, the price you will pay is substantially higher than on the outside, for obvious reasons such as supply and demand, the risk to smuggle tobacco, etc.

Keep in mind that you are not allowed to smoke in jail, so make sure you don't get caught or you could be charged. When I use the term charged, I don't mean charged a fee, and I don't mean charged with a crime. But you can be given a jail charge, which is kept on your record, and can affect your chances of getting a better classo, moving to a better jail, or getting parole. You may also be punished by missing out on weeks of buy-up or visits

How much does it cost to buy tobacco in jail in Australia?

This will vary depending on various factors, so it's hard to give an accurate answer. The price for a pouch of tobacco today may be different from a few years ago, and it can also vary greatly depending on which jail you are at. If you are at a jail where it is hard to smuggle in contraband, then the price will be higher. In a similar vein, if there are not many people bringing in tobacco to your jail, but there are a lot of smokers, then the demand will outweigh supply and push prices higher.

My recommendation is to stay away from smoking in jail. Use your time in jail wisely, take the chance to quit smoking and instead, focus on your physical health by exercising. You may as well come out better and healthier than you were when you went in.

If you want to learn more about what jail is like, feel free to send me a message below and I will respond as quickly as I can.

Ask an ex-inmate any questions about jail

If you have any quick questions that you are curious about, or if you are facing imprisonment and need some more info, please leave me a message below with your details. 

I am also available for telephone consultations if you need to chat for longer.

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About the Author

I served a full-time custodial sentence in several prisons in NSW, and I hope that my experience can help others who are about to be sentenced. All the information provided on this site is based on my real personal experience, or experiences and anecdotes from inmates I have met during my incarceration.

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