Vaping News

Prison Vapes

Problems persist for prisoners attempting to access vape products instead of NRT.

Share on:
A successful electronic cigarette trial in Guernsey prison resulted in trials taking place at other mainland UK institutions. It was generally accepted that the specially designed vape products had a lot to offer prisoners and a part to play in the new smoke-free environments. Unfortunately, problems are being experienced and the company responsible is refusing to be accountable.

E-Burn is a unique type of electronic cigarette that has been designed to offer higher levels of safety to inmates and prison staff than standard products. E-burn was invented by Darren Hayley, who (although not a smoker himself) has lost close relations to smoking-related diseases.

Following a successful trial at HMP Guernsey, E-burn was approved from a health perspective by NOMS/HMPS and attained the Industry Standard of Excellence from the Electronic Cigarette Industry Trade Association (ECITA). 

At the time, Hayley said: “Of course it is better that people don’t smoke at all. It is a difficult habit to break and if they need the help of e-cigs or want to continue Nicotine use, according to Public Health England e-cigs are a 95% safer alternative to tobacco smoking.”

While E-burn is being stocked at Guernsey, and only costs £2.50, a more expensive unnamed £3.60 vaping product (not E-burn) is available for inmates to purchase via a canteen sheet across the rest of Her Majesty's Prisons. The sheet system is operated by a division of DHL but it is meeting with problems. “When I received my e-cig, determined to try stopping smoking tobacco, I opened it in front of staff and found, to my surprise, that it did not work,” says an anonymous prisoner. “The guy from DHL said I would have to fill in a form in order to try and claim my money back. DHL charged me for the item but refused to give me a refund. So, I was stuck with a broken e-cig and no smokes for a week.”

With a captive market in front of them, DHL are playing fast and loose with the legislation put in place to protect consumers (no matter where they may live).

When I inquired further about my refund,” he continues, “I was told by DHL that I should complain to the manufacturers! If my biscuits were delivered by DHL all broken would they tell me to write to McVitie’s for a refund?”

A source has confirmed to POTV that prisoners are experiencing issues with returning their electronic cigarettes to DHL for a refund.

DHL have the responsibility to refund the inmate or replace the product, it is not an issue for the vaper and the manufacturer. At the time of writing, DHL have not responded to a request for comment. Maybe the prison service ought to consider the cheaper and working solution offered by E-burn?

Readers with a good memory might remember the on-going saga of Jailcigs and the mess allegedly created by Sherriff Robert Arnold in Rutherford County, Tennessee. The latest news is that Arnold remains in jail pending his court case on 7th February. Meanwhile, his cousin James Vanderveer has mysteriously vanished from the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office. With corruption, wife-battery and tax evasion loaded on top of the charges of conspiracy, fraud, and bribery, it is going to be a juicy trial.

Dave Cross avatar

Dave Cross

Journalist at POTV
View Articles

Dave is a freelance writer; with articles on music, motorbikes, football, pop-science, vaping and tobacco harm reduction in Sounds, Melody Maker, UBG, AWoL, Bike, When Saturday Comes, Vape News Magazine, and syndicated across the Johnston Press group. He was published in an anthology of “Greatest Football Writing”, but still believes this was a mistake. Dave contributes sketches to comedy shows and used to co-host a radio sketch show. He’s worked with numerous vape companies to develop content for their websites.

Join the discussion


Parliament Fears Two

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs faced questions from a Conservative MP and, oddly, a member of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Vaping News

Harm Reduction For The Rich

The United Kingdom risks becoming a harm reduction country only for the wealthy, according to Michael Landl of the World Vapers’ Alliance

Vaping News

Sacrificing Health For 2p Cut

Tory Government alienates vaping voters with its mission to cut tax by an unaffordable 2p to attract voters by placing a tax on vape products in the forthcoming budget

Vaping News

Scotland Announces Single-Use Vape Action

A ban on the sale and supply of single-use vapes in Scotland is due to come into effect on 1 April 2025, under proposed legislation published today