Wales’ Smoking Ban Praised a Decade on From its Introduction

Smoking in Wales is at an all-time low as the nation marks the 10th anniversary of the flagship smoking ban.

The legislation has improved air quality and reduced exposure to second-hand smoke in venues across Wrexham and Wales, and local Assembly Member, Lesley Griffiths has praised its impact.

She said: “The Welsh Labour Government led the way in banning smoking in public places and it is clear to see the positive progress that has been made.”

“Not only have smoking rates amongst adults and teenagers reduced drastically but future generations are also being protected from the effects of smoking as they do not grow up seeing it as a normal activity.”

“In addition, in recent years the Welsh Government has introduced further laws, such as banning cigarettes from being displayed in supermarkets and shops, which have all reinforced the notion of the ban, creating extra deterrents and helping change the nation’s perceptions.”

Wales became the first nation in the UK to introduce a smoking ban on 2 April, 2007.

Its aim was to protect the public from second-hand smoke and research commissioned by the Welsh Government has revealed the ban has been a public health success.  Air quality has significantly improved and many people are now smoking less.

Official figures show the percentage of adults smoking is now at a record low.  The Welsh Health Survey showed 19% of adults smoke, a significant decrease from 25% in 2005/6.  This has exceeded the Welsh Government target of reducing smoking rates to 20% by 2016.