Introduce prisoners to vaping? Such is the strategy of the Scottish Prison Service (SPS). The distribution of free vaping kits will also allow prisoners to wean themselves off of their tobacco addiction. The new measures have been implemented in preparation for an upcoming ban on all cigarettes in Scottish prisons.
From November 30 onwards, tobacco will be prohibited in all Scottish prisons. A similar law in England was adopted last year. Surrounded by controversy, the decision first enraged 70,000 British prisoners. Today, however, almost half of them have made the transition to vaping.
The goal of these preventative measures is to keep prisoners healthy. It is also intended to limit the dangers of second-hand smoking amongst non-smoking prisoners. A free e-cigarette initiation for prisoners should also help prisoners ease themselves off of cigarettes.
Facilitate the transition towards vaping
The SPS has proposed a multi-stage program. First, smokers hoping to quit tobacco will be given a free vaping kit. During two months, vaping products will be offered to prisoners, free of charge. Afterwards, special prices will be offered until April 2019.
After this date, vaping products in prison will cost the same as products on the outside. The initiative will cost approximately 200,000 pounds sterling. It will affect many people, as almost 70% of Scottish prisoners smoke cigarettes. The number rises to 95% for female prisoners in Scotland.
Initially criticized, the cigarette ban in British prisons has since been deemed successful. Vaping has become the first choice amongst prisoners, with approximately 65,000 specialized vaping products sold each week in British prisons. The initiative could further inspire other countries to adopt similar measures in their own penal systems.