By Laura Kemp • 09 November 2021 • 15:03
Ministry of Health wants to ban smoking in cars and modify tobacco laws
The Welsh Government revealed plans yesterday, November 8, to end smoking in Wales by 2030.
Part of the scheme will include tackling health inequalities and helping people quit.
Deputy Minister for Wellbeing Lynne Neagle announced that the target for a smoke-free Wales by 2030 will be less than 5 per cent of the population smoking.
A consultation on the scheme will run until January 31 that will aim to get people’s views on how to create a smoke-free Wales and the actions set out in the first two years of the plan.
According to the Welsh Government, around 14 per cent of the population in Wales are smokers and those in more deprived areas are more likely to smoke.
Research also shows that people with mental health issues are twice as likely to smoke compared to those who do not suffer from mental health issues.
Wales became the first country in the UK to introduce smoke-free school grounds, playgrounds and hospital grounds this year and, as of March 1 next year, there will be a ban on smoking in bedrooms in hotels and guest houses as well as in self-contained holiday homes, such as cottages, caravans and Airbnbs.
The Welsh Government said: “Not only does making more public places smoke-free protect people from harmful second-hand smoke, these areas have an important role in making smoke-free the norm and in supporting more smokers to quit.”
Lynne Neagle said: “Our ambition is to make Wales smoke-free and to support people to make choices to improve their health and wellbeing.
“Wales has led the way by being the first part of the UK to ban smoking in some public places, including public playgrounds and school grounds where children and young people spend their time, but we know we need to do more to strengthen our smoke-free message, particularly to the next generation and change how they and wider society view smoking.
“Smoking remains the leading cause of premature death here in Wales and a major contributor to health inequalities. Whilst we have made progress in recent years in reducing the number of people smoking, we want to go further and be ambitious to create a Wales where smoking is far from the norm.
“I would encourage people to share their views on this consultation and help shape future decisions.”
Chief Medical Officer for Wales Frank Atherton said: “Smoking is extremely damaging to health. In 2018, around 5,600 deaths in people aged 35 and over and 28,000 admissions to hospital were attributable to smoking.
“We need to work together as a society, including government, health professionals and communities to ensure we are doing all we can to tackle smoking and reduce the ill health smoking causes. I would encourage anyone wanting to give up smoking to access Wales’ free NHS support service, HelpMeQuit for help and support.”
Officer for Wales at the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health Dr David Tuthil said: “Smoking is detrimental to the health of young people throughout their lives, from higher rates of cot death to unnecessary hospital admissions for chest problems.
“In our flagship report, State of Child Health 2020, we called on the Welsh Government to set targets for a smoke-free generation by 2030 so this announcement is extremely welcome news. The real work starts now to make sure this ambition is realised and the RCPCH looks forward to responding to the consultation.”
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Originally from UK, Laura is based in Axarquia and is a writer for the Euro Weekly News covering news and features.
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