16 March 2018
La Moye prison is preparing to become completely smoke-free by the end of this year.
The Minister for Home Affairs has announced the news today following the release of a new consensus statement for Jersey in which top health professionals have signed up to about the use of e-cigarettes.
Health professionals and key partners in Jersey have agreed, for the first time, a new ‘consensus statement’, over the current understanding about e-cigarettes.
E-cigarettes will now be regarded as an acceptable choice for prisoners to help them to stop smoking.
Home Affairs Minister Deputy Kristina Moore said: “Our prison service started its journey to be smoke-free in 2013, when smoking inside the prison’s secure perimeter was banned for all staff and prisoners were restricted to smoking in individual cells or in the open air exercise yards.
“I am really pleased to announce that our prison service will now be making the commitment to improve the health of both staff and prisoners by seeking to make La Moye prison completely smoke-free by the end of this year and the start of 2019. We will be supporting the prisoner population by offering increased smoking cessation and alternative support services in the run up to, and after the smoke-free date.”
Deputy Moore added: “Further to the recent releases of the public health consensus statement on the use of e-cigarettes, we will also be permitting the sale of ‘prison safe’ e-cigarette devices to prisoners to ensure they have similar access as the general public to products that, for smokers, are less harmful than smoking tobacco on their journey to stopping smoking altogether.”
The Islands latest Tobacco Strategy recognises that smoking is still a leading cause of preventable death and disease in Jersey, causing around 140 deaths a year and around 1,000 Hospital admissions estimated to be directly attributable to smoking. The Tobacco Strategy also recognises the particularly high rate of smoking amongst prisoners. Around four fifths of all new admissions are smokers, and there will be a need to offer ongoing support to stop smoking.
Dr. Linda Diggle, head of preventive services, added: “A smoke free prison environment will be a good opportunity for prisoners to improve their health and get support for stopping smoking for good. Stop smoking nurse specialists have been running stop smoking group sessions in prison working to reduce the high rate of smoking amongst prisoners. Success so far has been above what would have expected, that is, 40% of the prisoners were validated as quit by carbon monoxide monitoring at four weeks and an additional 20% also went on to stop smoking completely. Our specialist stop smoking nurses will be working alongside prison staff to provide ongoing support for prisoners to stop smoking both in the run up to going smoke free as well as once the new policy is in place in 2019.”