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From UK Prisons to Hospitals, Vaping Is Kicking Smoking's Butt

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We are heading towards a smoke-free UK — and e-cigarettes are at the forefront of efforts.

Modern vaporiser versus old tobacco cigarette in smoke cloud It's official: smoking is being stubbed out all over the UK. Rates of smoking are down to a record low, as more people find ways of successfully ditching tobacco for good, including with electronic cigarettes. Even the country's prisons and hospitals are now recording stop-smoking success with cessation methods like vaping and saying goodbye to tobacco for good. One such jail is in the Isle of Man. The detention facility with a capacity of 144 inmates became the first in Europe to ban smoking when it introduced the prohibition in 2008. The aim was to improve prisoners' health and protect staff and inmates from the hazards of secondhand smoke. Of the approximately 7 million people who die from smoking-related diseases around the world each year, almost 1 million are people who are not smokers, but inhale others' toxic tobacco fumes. All did not go well at the Isle of Man prison, however. Suddenly deprived of their nicotine supply, the prisoners became anxious and agitated and came up with novel, but dangerous ways to try and continue their unhealthy habit. "Offenders devised ways to smoke tea bags, banana skins and other items mixed with nicotine ... resulting in staff and offenders’ continued exposure to secondhand smoke," the prison said.

Barred Behind Bars

So for a long while, it seemed the Isle of Man prison authorities' no-smoking plan had spectacularly backfired. Prisoners were still smoking, in new and peculiar ways, causing more trouble than if they were still on cigarettes. They were now also causing frequent power outages in cells, due to using power outlets to try and get a spark to light a homemade cigarette. If you're wondering where they managed to get the nicotine they were after for their smokes — well, so were we. So we asked the Isle of Man government, and they told us it was from nicotine patches that were widely available in the prison. "The patches were in great demand by those determined to smoke (tea bags, hair, fruit skins, lint from dryers etc). Nicotine would be soaked off the patch and used within these homemade cigarettes. New arrivals who didn’t smoke were urged to tell the authorities they did, in order to be given the patches, which could then be ‘traded’," spokeswoman Marian Kenny told us. Prisoners certainly are an innovative bunch! Thankfully, for everyone's sake, the prison bosses hit on an idea: let the prisoners vape. They might ditch their desperate smoking habits that were causing harm and mayhem, and the prison would become an entirely better place. A six-month trial period followed, where inmates could vape to their hearts’ content with cigarette- or pen-style devices rather than top-of-the-line products like the innovative Smok X-Priv Kit. Getting their nicotine but little else from their e-cigarettes, the prison declared the scheme a "stand-out success".

Smokin’ Success

Six months after prisoners started vaping, the prison found a 58% fall in behaviour warnings and power outages in cells. It also calculated that £8,500 could now be saved in smoking-cessation therapies such as nicotine patches. Prison Governor Bob McColm said vaping led to a major turnaround in prison conditions. “The e-cigarette pilot scheme at Jurby prison is a major success story for the Isle of Man. A problem has been solved. We have better behaviour, a calmer, cleaner and safer environment. Impressive numbers of offenders have asked for help to stop smoking altogether — an unexpected bonus which will drive our future approach,” he said. Meanwhile, hospitals in Ipswich and Colchester hospital have introduced vaping areas and saw a "huge reduction" in smoking on their grounds. It’s more evidence that e-cigarettes and other vaping devices are helping to turn our country smoke-free — and make us all much healthier and happier as a result.

Are you trying to give up smoking but finding it an uphill battle? Maybe you've considered vaping as an alternative. Electric Tobacconist stocks the very best e-cigarette starter kits, including the in-demand Smok X-Priv Kit, at fantastic prices and with free delivery on orders over £10. They're simple to use and could get you off tobacco for good. Explore our range now.