Ambition to make Wales smoke-free by 2030 – as smoking remains the leading cause of premature deaths

Deputy Minister for Wellbeing, Lynne Neagle has launched the consultation for the long term tobacco control strategy, A Smoke-free Wales. It will be open until January 31st. The target of the strategy is a smoke-free Wales by 2030, which means less than 5% of the population smoking.

Whilst around 14% of people in Wales smoke, there are strong links between smoking and deprivation with those in more deprived areas more likely to smoke. Research has also shown that individuals with a mental illness are about twice as likely to smoke as others who do not suffer from mental health issues.

This year saw Wales become the first nation in the UK to introduce smoke-free playgrounds, school grounds and hospital grounds.  Next year (on 1 March 2022) will see smoking bedrooms in hotels and guest houses banned, as well as in self-contained holiday accommodation such as cottages, caravans and AirBnBs. 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.

The consultation will seek people’s views on how to create a smoke-free society in Wales as well as the detailed actions set out in the first two-year delivery plan.

The strategy will also look at how additional support can be given to help more people quit through the free NHS service, Help Me Quit as well as plans to expand help for smokers who are in hospital. Publically funded organisations could also be asked to be smoke-free and to support their workforce to get advice and support to quit smoking.

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