Mike Hedges AM welcomes announcement Hospital grounds, school grounds and playgrounds to be smoke-free in Wales by summer 2019
Wales is set to 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.
Mike Hedges AM said…. ‘I welcome this initiative as it is a step towards sending the message that passive smoking is as dangerous as smoking itself. It is important that we protect people from passive smoking as well as protecting our young people from the effects of smoking in play grounds.’
Strengthening the laws around smoking in public in Wales will further protect non-smokers from second-hand smoke and de-normalise smoking for children and young people.
While most hospitals already have no smoking policies in their grounds, it is currently difficult for staff to enforce this.
Health Secretary, Vaughan Gething, has visited the maternity unit at Glan Clwyd Hospital, where staff told him they had received complaints from mothers about people smoking outside the hospital when they enter and leave with their young babies.
The Hospital Management Team has also received complaints about people smoking at the newly refurbished main entrance and at other entrances across the site.
The 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.