Is vaping allowed in UK prisons?

Is vaping allowed in UK prisons

Is Vaping Allowed in UK Prisons? Your Comprehensive Guide


The topic of vaping in the United Kingdom has been a subject of much debate, especially when it comes to its legality in specific settings. One area that often raises questions is whether vaping is allowed in UK prisons. In this in-depth guide, we’ll explore this issue, focusing on the UK’s prison system and how it handles vaping among inmates.

Is Vaping Allowed?

The straightforward answer is yes, vaping is allowed in many UK prisons. Traditional cigarettes were banned from UK prisons in 2016 due to health concerns related to second-hand smoke. To provide an alternative for inmates who smoke, prisons introduced vaping as a safer option. However, it’s essential to note that the rules can vary from one facility to another, and there may be designated areas where vaping is permitted.

Is vaping allowed in UK prisons?

Is vaping allowed in UK prisons?

Characteristics of Vaping in Prisons

  • Designated Areas: While vaping is generally allowed, there are usually specific areas within the prison where it is permitted. This is to ensure the safety and comfort of all inmates.

  • Regulated Products: The vaping devices and e-liquids available to prisoners are regulated to meet safety standards. These are generally basic devices without any advanced features.

  • Monitoring: The use of vaping products is monitored to ensure that they are not being modified for illicit purposes or causing any disruptions.

How Do Prisoners Buy Vapes and Refills?

Prison Canteen

Inmates can purchase vaping devices and refills from the prison canteen, which is essentially a small store within the prison where various items can be bought. The canteen offers a range of approved vaping products that meet safety regulations.


Prisoners use their prison earnings or money sent by family and friends to buy vaping products. The prices are generally in line with what you would expect to pay outside prison, although the range is more limited.


The frequency with which inmates can purchase vaping products depends on the specific rules of each prison. Some may allow weekly purchases, while others might have different timelines.

Why is Vaping Allowed?

The primary reason vaping is allowed in UK prisons is to provide a safer alternative to smoking. The ban on traditional cigarettes was implemented to improve the health conditions within prisons, but authorities recognised that a complete ban without an alternative could lead to unrest among inmates who smoke.


Vaping is generally allowed in UK prisons as a safer alternative to traditional cigarettes, which were banned in 2016. Inmates can purchase approved vaping devices and e-liquids from the prison canteen using their prison earnings or money sent by family and friends. While the rules can vary from one facility to another, the overall aim is to provide a safer environment for both inmates and staff.

Is vaping allowed in UK prisons