Last year, the Scottish Prison Service (SPS), announced that smoking and tobacco sales would be banned in Scottish prisons by the end of 2018. The announcement came as the prison service published a study measuring prison staff exposure to secondhand smoke in what was called, “the most comprehensive study in the world”.
The Tobacco in Prisons Study (TIPS), indicated that when on duty, the majority of non-smoking prison staff (about ⅔), are regularly exposed to smoke, the equivalent to that one would be exposed to if living with a smoker.
The research was carried out by the University of Glasgow and the University of Aberdeen, and was published in the Annals of Work Exposure and Health journal. “It is not acceptable that those in our care and those who work in our prisons should be exposed to secondhand smoke,” said Colin McConnell, CEO of the SPS at the time.
Vaping replacing smoking across UK prisons
Subsequently, spokesperson for the SPS Tom Fox, has announced that the ban will officially go into effect as of next December. “After the 30th of November, there will be nowhere in our prisons where anyone will be able to smoke.” In March 2017, both Irish and Isle of Man prisons had announced that vaping products would be made available for sale in their prisons, and now the SPS has followed suit.
Edinburgh company JAC Vapour has won a contract to start selling its e-cigarettes and e-liquid PODs in Scottish jails, which will be available for sale in prisons from later this month. For the first two months both the pods and devices will be sold for free, after which they will be sold at a discounted rate until April.
A specific device tailor-made for inmates’ needs and safety
As a result of the collaboration between the SPS and the e-cigarette manufacturer, a new device called the Wee VIM, was created. Both hardware devices will be available to prisoners alongside specially formulated Nicotine Salt PODs in four flavours, menthol, tobacco, blackcurrant and strawberry.
“It has taken a lot of time and research to create a product that will be suitable for Scotland’s prisoners. The devices were created with a number of key things in mind, including cost, reliability and the effectiveness of the products; we also had to look at making it as easy as possible to switch heavy smokers to e-cigarettes. To make this process as seamless as possible, we created a special device, coil and POD combination to help with the changeover,” said CEO of JAC Vapour, Neil McCallum.
“The power of our devices, JAC Vapour’s flavour S-Coil system, our unique formulation of nicotine salt e-liquid in the PODs, giving a much faster nicotine delivery than traditional e-liquid, means we are confident we have created a product that will aid prisoners during this transition and mimic their old tobacco smoking habit effectively,” he added.
Read Further: The National