An Isle of Man prison has trialled a 6-month pilot scheme involving the use of e-cigarettes as an alternative to traditional cigarettes.
The aim of the study was to reduce the risk of danger to inmates when lighting up and smoking ‘illicit materials’ as substitutes for traditional cigarettes. The Isle of Man prison had experienced over 800 power cuts caused by inmates using kettles and electricity sockets to light up their homemade cigarettes,
Bill Malarkey, Home Affairs Minister, is recommending a policy change following the study, stating; “I have been persuaded to revisit this issue by the weight of evidence provided by medical professionals and the availability of an e-cigarette that is specially designed for use in prisons.”
The trial, which was announced in March 2017, has been described as a major success story by Prison governor Bob McColm. He explained that the smoking ban which has been in effect since 2008 had brought a number of significant challenges when dealing with prisoners who were determined to continue smoking.
The 6-month trial allowed prison inmates to purchase e-cigarettes called E-burn from the prison shop. These were then permitted to be used in their cells or outdoor spaces.
25% of new offenders asked for help quitting smoking for good
42% drop in offender adjudication
50% fall in cell power outages
58% drop in behaviour warnings
An annual saving of £8,500 on nicotine replacement therapy