The Wrexham super prison is aiming to becoming the country’s first smoke-free prison by 2017, offering inmates gum, nicotine patches and group support. 2100 inmates will be expected to quit smoking for good after it was revealed the North Wales health service will spend £12,000 a week when the prison opens in 2017.

The move follows the news that the Welsh Government plans to allocate designated smoking cells to help soften the blow of a complete smoking ban in prisons. It is projected that the health board will have to fork out £10.47 weekly for each prisoner’s 12-week stop smoking plan.

The bills will be picked up by the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, who will be providing money for support groups, gum and nicotine patches. There are unconfirmed reports that the Health Board will offer e-cigarette for prisoners hoping to quit smoking. It was recently revealed that e-cigarettes would be prescribed by GPs this year, so prisoners should have access to the devices too.

There are reports which confirm the effectiveness of e-cigarettes is better than gum or patches. In 2014, UK prisons began a trial that allowed the sale of e-cigarettes in prison shops, as part of an on-going effort to ban smoking in prisons. The Prison Service are committed to enforcing the smoking ban across England and Wales, aiming to lower prison health risks and decrease prison population.

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