- Posted by: Mike Hedges MS
- Category: Uncategorized
Mike Hedges AM welcomes news that Welsh Government launches new plan to stub out smoking
A new plan to reduce the number of smokers in Wales to 16% by 2020, for a healthier, smoke-free Wales has been launched by the Welsh Labour Government.
Mike said….. I greatly welcome this new drive to reduce smoking. We know that Swansea is part of the Healthy City network and that Swansea has one of the highest smoking rates (22%) in any city in this network. Welsh Government initiatives like this will be instrumental in driving these figures down even further. I have seen good work by Communities First Teams in Swansea East in recent years on smoking reduction and look forward to seeing further good work in the coming years. I urge any smokers to seek help that is available to quit NOW!
Smoking contributes most to the current burden of disease in Wales, causing approximately 5,450 deaths each year and costing the NHS an estimated £302m annually.
The National Survey for Wales 2016/17 showed that 19% of adults smoked; a significant reduction from 25% in 2005/6. This exceeded the Welsh Government target of reducing smoking rates to 20% by 2016.
The new three-year Tobacco Control Delivery Plan will build on the progress already made following the first 10 years of the smoking ban in Wales.
Actions in the new plan include;
- Introducing a statutory ban on smoking in hospital grounds, school grounds, public playgrounds and outdoor care settings for children by summer 2019
- Helping more smokers to quit by encouraging the use of integrated smoking cessation services
Strengthening referral pathways to smoking cessation services, particularly for groups with high smoking prevalence.The majority of smokers in Wales (around 6 in 10) want to quit, and just over 4 in 10 have made an attempt to quit in the last year, according to the National Survey for Wales. Large numbers of these individuals ‘go-it-alone’, yet this is the least effective method of quitting. In order to achieve a further reduction in adult smoking levels in Wales, more need to be motivated to quit and to be encouraged to use cessation services that are already available.