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Prisons: Smoking

Question for Ministry of Justice

UIN HL4021, tabled on 30 November 2015

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what were the monthly sales figures for (1) e-cigarettes, and (2) tobacco products, in prison shops in the past year.

Answered on

17 December 2015

For prisons in England and Wales monthly sales (number of units sold[1]) for the period December 2014 to November 2015 were as follows:

TOBACCO & CIGARETTES

SUNDRIES[2]

E CIGARETTE

DECEMBER 2014

318,300

252,500

310

JANUARY 2015

352,500

284,200

140

FEBURARY 2015

283,600

228,300

80

MARCH 2015

291,700

228,400

20

APRIL 2015

344,100

282,500

40

MAY 2015

290,800

230,100

60

JUNE 2015

286,000

216,000

60

JULY 2015

350,400

268,400

40

AUGUST 2015

286,900

220,400

6,500

SEPTEMBER 2015

280,200

219,100

5,600

OCTOBER 2015

344,200

268,700

3,000

NOVEMBER 2015

278,400

220,200

1,500


It should be noted that some of the variation in monthly sales is due to months having four weekly accounting periods and other months having five.


From December 2014 to mid-August 2015 e-cigarettes were only available in prisons in Wales plus the three Public Sector Prison establishments in England, (Eastwood Park, Stocken, and Preston) hence the relatively low sales. From 17 August 2015 all public sector establishments offered an e-cigarette on their Local Product List (prison shop form). The decrease in e-cigarette sales since August is thought to be due to an initial peak in sales when these products were first introduced.


[1] Rounded to the nearest 100, or nearest 10 when sales are less than 1,000.

[2] Sundries include, for example, rolling papers, lighters, matches, filter tips and rolling machines.