Welsh Government Launch New Plan to Stub-Out Smoking

Plans to ban smoking outside hospitals, schools and playgrounds are to come into force by 2019.

It forms part of the latest Welsh Government proposals aimed at reducing the number of smokers in Wales to 16% by 2020 and Wrexham’s Assembly Member, Lesley Griffiths, has welcomed the plans.

Smoking contributes most to the current burden of disease in Wales, causing approximately 5,450 deaths each year and costing the NHS an estimated £302m annually.

The National Survey for Wales 2016/17 showed that 19% of adults smoked; a significant reduction from 25% in 2005/6. This exceeded the Welsh Government target of reducing smoking rates to 20% by 2016.

Wrexham AM Lesley Griffiths said: “Since becoming the first country in the UK to introduce a smoking ban in public places just over 10 years ago, the Welsh Labour Government has made great strides in shaping a healthier, smoke-free nation.”

“Over the years the legislation has acted as a deterrent and helped change the nation’s perceptions.  These latest proposals will continue to protect and improve public health, particularly safeguarding Wales’ younger generation from the effects of smoking.”

The new three-year Tobacco Control Delivery Plan will build on the progress already made following the first 10 years of the smoking ban in Wales.

Actions in the new plan include;

  • Introducing a statutory ban on smoking in hospital grounds, school grounds, public playgrounds and outdoor care settings for children by summer 2019.
  • Helping more smokers to quit by encouraging the use of integrated smoking cessation services.
  • Strengthening referral pathways to smoking cessation services, particularly for groups with high smoking prevalence.

 

The majority of smokers in Wales (around 6 in 10) want to quit, and just over 4 in 10 have made an attempt to quit in the last year, according to the National Survey for Wales.

Lesley Griffiths AM added: “In Wrexham, statistics show around 20% of people smoke, which is slightly above the national average.  The latest national survey results suggest a significant proportion of smokers want to quit so I welcome the latest proposals and encourage those affected to find out more about the support available.”