Posted: Tue 14th Jul 2020

Smoking outside pubs, cafes and restaurants could be banned in Wales

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Tuesday, Jul 14th, 2020

Smoking could be banned outside pubs, cafes and restaurants if new Welsh Government proposals get the go-ahead.

Health Minister Vaughan Gething has said he is committed to “making more of Wales’ public spaces smoke-free.”

ASH Wales has welcomed the plan to “protect non-smokers from the effects of second hand smoke.”

Any ban on smoking in the outdoor seating areas could come into force during the next Senedd term if the proposals are given the go-ahead.

New legislation is being planned to come into force shortly and will ban smoking in hospital grounds, schools in hospitals.

Currently in Wales 17% of adults smoke, an estimated 440,000 adults, and 45% of smokers tried to quit last year.

Minister for Health and Social Services, Vaughan Gething, said: “Our Tobacco Control Delivery Plan for Wales sets a clear vision for a smoke-free society in Wales in which the harm from tobacco is eradicated.

We have begun the process of setting our priorities for post-2020 to further reduce smoking rates to achieve our aim of a smoke-free Wales and I remain committed to making more of Wales’ public spaces smoke-free.”

Suzanne Cass, CEO of ASH Wales, said: “In Wales, where 83% of the population don’t smoke, it is crucially important that we introduce measures both to protect non-smokers, but also to de-normalise this devastating addiction and encourage smokers to seek help to quit.

“As lockdown restrictions are lifted and customers, including families with young children, return to the outdoor areas of pubs, cafes and restaurants, it is more important than ever to ensure that staff and customers are protected from breathing in second hand smoke which we know carries significant health risks.”

Angela Burns MS – the Shadow Minister for Health – has reacted to the plans, she said:  “The health of our nation – and the corresponding strain that ill health puts on NHS Wales – is of course a massive concern for everyone.

This proposal will be perceived by many as Draconian and before acceptance we would need to see what additional measures the Health Minister would offer for people who want to quit, and what increase in smoking cessation services will be provided.

For such a measure to be successful, more resources to encourage people away from smoking must be done, and we would disagree with any ban on the use of vaping products, which have turned so many people way from cigarettes.”

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