Proposal to ban smoking in all outdoor cafes and restaurants in Wales

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Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) Wales is calling on the Welsh government to ban smoking in beer gardens to protect children’s health.

The call follows March legislation banning smoking in schools, hospitals and playgrounds, as ASH wants the ban extended to pubs, bars and restaurants.

Beer gardens are proving to be very popular in Wales, particularly Pembrokeshire, due to a mix of warm weather, British stays, Euro 2020 and many other factors.

Wales’ Children’s Commissioner Sally Holland backed the proposal, with 63% of the Welsh public, to make children less likely to develop the habit themselves, as well as to protect them from secondhand smoke.

Currently in Wales, around 6,000 children start smoking each year, and 8% of 15-16 year olds smoke regularly – a figure that has not changed since 2013.

Suzanne Cass, CEO of ASH Wales, said: “The Welsh government has shown a very strong commitment to tackling the prevalence of smoking in Wales by becoming the first UK country to ban smoking in schools and hospitals and in children’s playgrounds.

“We believe he should now listen to the people of Wales and extend this ban to outdoor rest areas such as beer gardens where young people and families with children gather. This is particularly important in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, as more people choose to sit outside when possible and smokers and non-smokers find themselves sitting next to each other. others.

“It is really important to do everything possible so that children are not exposed to the sight of adults who smoke on a daily basis. 81% of adults in Wales were under 18 when they tried their first cigarette. By denormalizing smoking, we hope to prevent many more from being caught in the grip of this deadly addiction. ”

Sally Holland said: “In order to achieve our collective ambition for a smoke-free Wales, young people should never see smoking as a positive option. Extending existing regulations to include outdoor seating areas for pubs, cafes and restaurants would take us another step towards this goal. ”

Deputy Minister for Mental Health and Welfare Lynne Neagle said: ‘We are committed to achieving our long-term goal of making more public spaces in Wales smoke-free, by helping people to to make positive changes to their health and well-being and to support our goal of a smoke-free Wales.

Welsh Conservative Shadow Minister for Mental Health and Welfare James Evans MS took a different point of view, commenting: “The hospitality industry has been hit hard over the past 15 months and has discouraged people from taking a ‘go to pubs and restaurants during the summer months with a ban on smoking. is not what the industry needs.

“Where possible, outdoor spaces should be split between smokers and non-smokers to ensure that everyone can have fun.

“But the Welsh government should focus on helping people to quit smoking or switch to reducing risky products rather than continuing to punish and demonize them.”



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