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Isle Of Man Prison Lowers Violence Using E-cigarettes

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The Isle of Man government announced a pilot program that would allow its prison population access to E-cigarettes in March of 2017.

In their press release, the Isle of Man Government stated that the move is aimed at reducing the risks and harm being caused by prisoners using illicit smoking materials. As well as protecting staff from toxic second-hand smoke, it would achieve savings of £15,000 (US$21,464) a year on the cost of supplying nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) patches.

Although, this move wasn’t anything new for the Isle of Man prison. They also lead the way in 2008 by becoming the first smoke-free prison in the whole of the UK and EU.

With prison inmates having a smoking rate roughly four times higher than the general population in the UK – and the fact that banning smoking drove many inmates to try smoking a variety of things soaked in the nicotine from patches including tea, dried banana skins and orange peels – it seems fitting that they be given access to safer alternatives such as e-cigarettes.

The first six months of the trial showed incredible promise with the prison in Jurby experiencing a 42% drop in formal punishments along with a 58% drop in behavior warnings in general.

It’s been estimated that the prison could be saving around £8,500 per year by allowing e-cigarettes and not having to buy nicotine patches.

Following the success in Isle of Man, prisons across the UK are looking at the Isle of Man model in a bid to become tobacco free. It is believed that 50% of prisons in the UK will have banned smoking by the end of 2019, with all prisons in Scotland aiming to be smoke-free by the end of 2018.

Currently located in Sydney, Australia, I have been vaping since 2009 and became active in the e-cigarette industry in late 2015. Since then I’ve had the pleasure of visiting over 700 shops in 6 countries.

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