Corrections Victoria will enhance safety and security in prisons by discontinuing the supply of nicotine patches. Starting from 12 February 2024, nicotine patches will no longer be issued to people entering custody. From 26 February, nicotine patches will also become a prohibited item and visitors will not be allowed to wear patches when they enter prisons.

The changes are being made to help combat the health and safety risks associated with people in prisons misusing the nicotine patches. 

This reflects the department's commitment to ensuring the smooth operation of Victorian prisons while prioritising the safety of both prisoners and staff. Recognising the highly addictive nature of nicotine, Corrections Victoria aims to facilitate a structured transition period for prisoners, allowing them sufficient time to adjust and access necessary support services.

In response to this change, people in prison dealing with nicotine cravings or withdrawals will retain access to health services and support systems within the prison environment. Additionally, health service providers will maintain the authority to prescribe alternative therapies for managing addiction, in accordance with clinical requirements.

To support a gradual adjustment, prisoners currently using nicotine patches will receive a two-week extension, enabling them to seek medical assistance as they transition away from this form of nicotine delivery.

Corrections Victoria emphasises its ongoing commitment to the safety and wellbeing of people in prisons and staff.