Initial views and experiences of vaping in prison: a qualitative study with people in custody preparing for the imminent implementation of Scotland’s prison smokefree policy

Brown, A., O’Donnell, R., Eadie, D., Purves, R., Sweeting, H. , Ford, A., Bauld, L. and Hunt, K. (2021) Initial views and experiences of vaping in prison: a qualitative study with people in custody preparing for the imminent implementation of Scotland’s prison smokefree policy. Nicotine and Tobacco Research, 23(3), pp. 543-549. (doi: 10.1093/ntr/ntaa088) (PMID:32447381) (PMCID:PMC7885768)

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Abstract

Introduction: Scotland is one of few countries in which e-cigarettes were available in prisons before the introduction of a comprehensive national smokefree policy, to assist in its implementation. This qualitative study explores initial views and experiences of vaping in this specific context, from the perspective of people in custody (prisoners). Methods: Twenty-eight people in custody were interviewed ~1-2 months after rechargeable e-cigarettes were made available in prisons and 2-5 weeks before implementation of a smokefree policy. Data were thematically analysed to identify the range and diversity of views and experiences. Results: Participants expressed support for e-cigarettes in preparation for the smokefree policy, describing their symbolic and practical value in this context. Uptake of vaping was strongly influenced by the need for participants to manage without tobacco in the near future. Participants evaluated their initial vaping experiences, either positively or negatively, in relation to the utility of e-cigarettes for mandated smoking abstinence and in providing satisfaction, pleasure and novelty. Participant views on several issues related to e-cigarette use, both specific to the prison population (product choice, cost) and more generally (safety and long-term use), are explored. Conclusion: Our findings suggest possible benefits of e-cigarettes as one means of supporting smokefree policy in a population with many smokers. They also point to potential challenges posed by vaping in prisons and smokefree settings caring for similar populations. There is a need for ongoing measures to maximise the health benefits of smokefree settings, and for further research on vaping in situations of enforced abstinence.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:The study was supported by Cancer Research UK (C45874/A27016). HS is funded by UK MRC (MC_UU_12017/12) and Scottish Chief Scientist Office (SPHSU-12).
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Hunt, Professor Kathryn and Sweeting, Dr Helen
Authors: Brown, A., O’Donnell, R., Eadie, D., Purves, R., Sweeting, H., Ford, A., Bauld, L., and Hunt, K.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > MRC/CSO SPHSU
Journal Name:Nicotine and Tobacco Research
Publisher:Oxford University Press
ISSN:1462-2203
ISSN (Online):1469-994X
Published Online:24 May 2020
Copyright Holders:Copyright © The Author(s) 2020
First Published:First published in Nicotine and Tobacco Research 23(3): 543-549
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons license

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
727641SPHSU Core Renewal: Setting and Health Improvement Research ProgrammeKathryn HuntMedical Research Council (MRC)MC_UU_12017/12IHW - MRC/CSO SPHU
Chief Scientist Office (CSO)SPHSU12