Almost 2000 prisoners nationwide have taken steps to quit smoking the habit in the lead up to this year's prison smoking ban, the Corrections Department says.

Free nicotine replacement therapy patches (NRT) and lozenges are being provided to prisoners in the lead-up to the smoking ban, which will begin July 1.

"Since the ban was announced, NRT uptake has increased steadily over the last seven months," assistant general manager of Prison Services Brendan Anstiss said.

"This is a good sign that prisoners are aware of the ban and are taking a proactive step to give up smoking."

Corrections is also working with The Quit Group and the Ministry of Health.

Other support initiatives include distribution of fact sheets, posters and pamphlets about the ban.

- NZPA