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Prisoners use 'Breaking Bad' method to light cigarettes

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Destroying TVs with TV

Bryan Cranston Breaking Bad (PUBLICITY STILL)
Bryan Cranston Breaking Bad (PUBLICITY STILL)

Inmates at an Australian prison have begun lighting their cigarettes with broken TV sets, using a tactic popularized by Walter White. According to Australia's, prisoners at a correctional center in Queensland have been taking apart jail-issued television sets and using frayed wires to light cigarettes — a technique used on the TV show Breaking Bad. In the episode "Buyout," which aired last year, Walter White (Bryan Cranston) chews through the power cord of a coffee machine and uses its wires to burn through the plastic ties holding him to a radiator.

It's impossible to say whether Queensland's inmates were directly inspired by Heisenberg's exploits, but the practice has certainly become pervasive; according to prison officials, 425 TV sets have had to be replaced over the past year alone, and an additional 131 have had to be repaired. The Lotus Glen Correctional Centre currently allows inmates to rent TVs for $2 AUD ($1.80) and issues six-month TV bans for anyone who destroys them, though authorities say they're now reconsidering the policy. Indoor smoking, meanwhile, remains forbidden.