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We already know how harmful smoking can be. Around one hundred thousand people die as a result of smoking each year in the United Kingdom with half those deaths being caused by cancer. Smoking is widely regarded as the largest preventable cause of death in the United Kingdom and the government has a target of cutting smoking to less than twelve percent of the population by 2022.
The harm that smoking can do, particularly second-hand smoke, is especially bad in United Kingdom prisons. Before the start of a recent campaign to help create smoke-free prisons, round eighty percent of people in prison smoked. That means that smoking in prison was more than five times more common than in the rest of the population. Helping people in prison quit smoking has become a priority and you won’t be surprised to learn that vaping is playing a big part.
Vaping has been proven to almost double the chances of quitting cigarettes for good and many prisons have taken advantage of this fact as they move toward becoming smoke-free.

Recommended by Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service

The HM Prisons and Probation Service has been encouraging smokers to quit with smoking cessation clinics and making nicotine replacement therapies like vaping available to people in prison.
Last year the Prison Service introduced rechargeable vapes and they’ve been hugely popular. An increasing number of e-liquids are also available to buy in prison canteens and there are plans to introduce a wider variety of vaping devices. The hope is that more choice will encourage a greater number of smokers to take up vaping to help them quit cigarettes.

The British Government and the United Nations

Prison healthcare and the effect of smoking is a global issue. The UN has a set of Minimum Standard Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners which state that healthcare in prisons should meet the standards and quality equivalent to that in the rest of the country. Obviously this is difficult to achieve with people in prison five times more likely to smoke than the population in general.
The difficulty of providing equivalent care in prisons when smoking is so prevalent has been highlighted in a report by the Health and Social Care Select Committee. Smoking in prisons is something the government has to take seriously if it wants to meet these UN standards.
We can all see why eliminating smoking from prisons is beneficial to health and wellbeing. With around eighty percent of people in prison smoking and half of them likely to die as a result of smoking related disease, that’s a huge number of deaths.
This health risk becomes even worse when we consider the effect of secondhand smoke. Ten thousand people die each year in the United Kingdom because of second hand smoke and most of those live or work with smokers. In 2015, air quality testing in prisons showed a significant health risk to prisoners and staff.
In order to achieve the goal of smoke-free prisons, a large scale plan has been carried out to encourage smokers to quit and promote alternatives to cigarettes. Vaping has been one of the tools used to help eliminate smoking from prison and so far the results have been remarkable.

Smoke Free Prisons And Vaping

The HM Prison and Probation Service has been working with the NHS and Public Health England to create a smoke-free environment in all closed prisons in England and Wales.
This partnership identified a variety of benefits to smoke-free prisons as well as a number of ways to help people in prison quit smoking for good. The benefits to making prisons smoke-free include obvious health improvements like fewer smoking related deaths. But the benefits also include improved fire safety and reduced prison costs with savings on healthcare and insurance.
Vaping has been a big part of the plans to achieve smoke-free prisons. To help people quit smoking for good a variety of vaping equipment has been made available in prisons.
Prisons are currently selling more than sixty-five thousand vaping products each week to more than thirty-three thousand customers. That means that around sixty percent of smokers in prison at the start of the campaign have now started vaping. This incredible success is great for the health and environment within our prisons but also encouraging for anyone looking to used vaping to help quit smoking.
With vaping products creating a smoke-free environment in prisons, there are hopes that more can be achieved. The number of people smoking in prisons has dropped dramatically and should continue to improve over time. This should also be true for the rest of the country as more and more smokers turn to vaping to help them quit for good.


Smoking in prisons has been a severe problem for decades with around eighty percent of the prison population smoking. People in prison were more than five times more likely to take up smoking than the rest of the population and that has huge implications on health and wellbeing.
We know that around half of smokers will die as a result of smoking related illness and in the United Kingdom alone around ten thousand deaths each year are linked to secondhand smoke. This is bad news for non-smokers in prison who are surrounded by large numbers of smokers.
Quitting smoking is great for the health of the former-smoker and those around them, so it’s easy to see why smoke-free prisons are a good idea. And vaping is just one of the tools made available to help people in prison quit.
The HM Prisons and Probation Service recognises the benefits of vaping to help people quit smoking. Vaping has been proven to almost double the chances of quitting permanently which is why rechargeable e-cigarettes and a variety of juice flavours have been made available in prison. Just like with the rest of the United Kingdom, vaping is making a big difference to the health of people in prison.

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