Today we’ll talk about vaping in prison, in which contries it is possible?
Replacing the electronic cigarette to the traditional one in prisons could solve many problems related to smoking and addiction. In some countries, such as the United Kingdom, regulations are adapting to this new reality, while Italy still lags behind.
Smoking is an addiction-induced necessity for many. For this reason, in some particular cases, the smoking ban can cause problems, very different from the harm of smoking but perhaps just as dangerous. We refer, for example, to the smoking ban in prisons more or less all over the world.
Fortunately, for some years now, the culture of prevention and freedom from smoking and new technologies have made it possible to take advantage of the electronic cigarette, exploiting it as an innovative means to get rid of traditional smoking. Slowly, vaping in prison is becoming possible, to improve the lives of smoking and non-smoking inmates.
Vaping could also help prisoners to quit smoking.
The problems of the smoking ban in prison
In general, vaping in prison could resolve the problem of smoking in prison. As this is an enclosed space, in fact, smoking is prohibited inside a prison and sometimes smoking is limited to air time and open spaces.
On the surface, this situation shouldn’t be harmful but healthy, yet this is not quite the case. Everyone knows the negative aspects of nicotine withdrawal (as well as other substances): on the one hand, thinking focuses only on how to get a cigarette or something that satisfies that immediate need, and on the other hand, nervousness grows, anxiety, irritability and in some cases even violent behavior.
The inmates who are prevented from smoking, and who may have previously been heavy smokers, provoke fights and show aggressive and impetuous attitudes towards companions, visiting family and friends, and the same employees of the penitentiary police.
In addition, they often try to smoke what they find, in an attempt to reproduce the pleasure of blondes: banana peels, tea bags, even nicotine patches. This has caused and continues to cause immediate damage from burns and fires, and in many cases even some serious long-term illness, especially affecting the lungs and respiratory system.
The success of vaping in prison in Europe
In many other countries (especially in Europe) different regulations and regulations have been tested that allowed the diffusion of e-cigs instead of traditional cigarettes, guaranteeing prisoners the opportunity to vape in prison whenever they wanted.
The case of the United Kingdom
The European state in which the most notable progress has been made in this field is undoubtedly the United Kingdom; in general, the british isles have always proved to be very open towards vaping in prison, and the rest of the world has a lot to learn from the queen’s domains.
In some prisons in England and Wales, pilot projects were launched in 2015 involving the sale and free use of e-cigs within the prison walls.
The results were immediately promising: according to data from the British Ministry of Justice, in four months the detainees bought over 16,000 e-cigarettes, and in just one month 40,000 fewer packs of cigarettes were sold. In short, an amazing success, especially if we consider that in prisons analog cigarettes are also precious as a bargaining chip, and not just as a product in themselves.
Similar initiatives took place in Scotland, Ireland and the Isle of Mann between 2016 and 2017. On the small British island, in particular, a disposable e-cig model created specifically for safe vaping was tested in prison.
It goes without saying that, again, the success was impressive. Prisoners were calmer on average, and acts of violence or violations of prison regulations fell by about 60%, as did burns from smoking improper products.
In addition, an additional 25% of inmates decided to take a path to quit smoking thanks to the ecig, and the state saved several thousand pounds a year, compared to the cost of the nicotine treatments used in previously.
The case of France
Following the example of the United Kingdom, however, last year also France decided to try the electronic cigarette route to improve the situation and allow vaping in prison.
Thanks to the collaboration of various hospitals, vaping associations and the local court of justice, around 1,000 e-cigarettes were distributed in the Caen prison during training initiatives aimed at inmates and prison staff. The public sector in the region understood the potential value of vaping in prison and immediately allocated around 50,000 euros to finance similar ones.