Education

School grounds and playgrounds across Wales to be smoke-free from 1st March

close up photo of cigarette

It’s just a few days until new laws are introduced to make more places in Wales smoke-free.

The laws being introduced across Wales on 1st March, build on the smoking ban introduced in 2007 and will protect more people from the harms of second-hand smoke and help those trying to quit.

It will mean that school grounds and public playgrounds, as well as the outdoor areas of children’s daycare and childminding settings and hospital grounds will be smoke-free. Anyone found breaking the law could face a £100 fine.

Wales is the first part of the UK to outlaw smoking in these areas which will denormalise smoking and reduce the chances of children and young people starting smoking in the first place – ultimately saving lives.

Cllr Guy Woodham, Pembrokeshire’s Cabinet Member for Education and Lifelong Learning, said: “We know the harm smoking can do to health, so I look forward to having the backing of those visiting our playgrounds and the staff, parents, guardians and visitors using our schools and care settings for children to ensure we all play our part in building a healthier future.”

Many smokers have already been motivated to give up smoking due to the Covid-19 pandemic and it is hoped this new legislation will encourage even more to. Quitting with support provides the best chance of stopping smoking for good.

Chief Executive of ASH Wales, an organisation on a mission to achieve a smoke-free Wales, Suzanne Cass, says, ““Those who start smoking before the age of 16 are twice as likely to continue to smoke compared to those who begin later in life, and they are more likely to become heavier smokers.

“We know from the latest ASH Wales YouGov survey that 81% of adult smokers in Wales were aged 18 or under when they tried their first cigarette. It’s crucially important that we prevent today’s young people from becoming the next generation of smokers.

“We hope this legislation will also pave the way for more public areas in Wales to go smoke-free.”

Those looking for help to stop smoking can access Wales’ free NHS support service Help Me Quit on 0800 085 2219 or visit www.helpmequit.wales for help and support, including access to free stop smoking medication.

(Lead image: Basil MK / Pexels.com)


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