Jersey prison now smoke free

It is all part of plans to help the prison become smoke-free in January. Credit: ITV Channel TV

Around 42 prisoners at La Moye in Jersey have been offered one-to-one sessions to help them quit smoking.

The sessions have been delivered by Help 2 Quit and the Prison Healthcare teams.

It is all part of plans to help the prison become smoke-free, which were announced last March.

It means there will be no option at all for inmates to purchase cigarettes.

Of those taking part in the quitting programme, almost half have managed to give up smoking already.

The States of Jersey Prison Service assists prisoners in addressing offending behaviour and leading better and healthier lives as part of preparing them for release. Helping prisoners address the harmful effects of smoking for themselves, their families and especially their children all helps improve the quality of life for Jersey as a whole.

Nick Cameron, Prison Governor

Prisoners who do not want to stop smoking will be able to buy e-cigarettes, and can be supported by the Help 2 Quit team should they change their minds.

New prisoners entering La Moye from January will also have access to the Help 2 Quit service's weekly clinic.

Our Stop Smoking nurses have worked closely with the Prison Healthcare team throughout 2018 and together the two teams have achieved a very good success rate in helping prisoners to quit.

Dr Linda Diggle, Head of Preventive Programmes

Some campaigners however have criticised the ban and instead are calling for designated smoking areas.

No-one has the right to smoke in jail but smoking is one of the few pleasures many prisoners have. At the very least inmates should be allowed to light up outside, in an exercise yard or designated smoking area. Evidence from England suggests that banning smoking in prisons can fuel violence and increase the use of illegal drugs. Tobacco is an important currency in prison and removing the option to buy cigarettes could have serious unintended consequences.

Simon Clark, director of smokers' group Forest