Outdoor areas to be smoke-free in Wales by summer 2019

Wales will be the first country in the UK to extend its smoking ban to outdoor areas, with smoke-free areas expected to be in place in hospital grounds, school grounds and playgrounds by summer 2019.

While most hospitals already have no smoking policies in their grounds, many authorities and staff currently find it difficult to enforce this. Changes will make it illegal to smoke in the hospital grounds, with legal backing for fines to be issued to smokers breaking the rules, therefore improving the environment for patients, visitors and staff.

The plans are expected to de-normalise smoking for children and young people and help protect non-smokers from second-hand smoke.

Vaughan Gething, Welsh Health Secretary, said: “I am proud that Wales continues to be at the forefront of UK action to reduce smoking and prevent young people from taking it up in the first place. We have seen significant changes to the attitudes to smoking since 2007. Back then we received some resistance to change, but we have seen a remarkable culture-change and I am pleased our plan to extend smoke-free areas to outdoor public spaces has received overwhelming public support. This is another step in the right direction to de-normalise smoking in Wales.”

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