Aberavon AM, David Rees, is celebrating the five year anniversary of the smoking ban in public places this weekend. Since the ban was introduced on April 2nd 2007 there has been a sharp decline in the number of non-smoking adults being exposed regularly to other people’s smoke – 33% compared to 66% in 2005/06.

David Rees AM said:
“I’m really proud that Wales was a pioneer in the move to ban smoking in public places; a move that has now been implemented across the UK and in many other EU countries. We’re still building on this with a ban on selling cigarettes in vending machines and a campaign to stop people smoking in cars when children are present.”

“Smoking is the largest single preventable cause of premature death and one of the main determinants of health inequalities, not just in Wales but across the UK. It is not fair on non-smokers to be involuntarily exposed to those dangers.”

“For anyone who wishes to stop smoking then Stop Smoking Wales (0800 085 2219) can provide one-to-one or group support. The Smokers Helpline (0800 169 0 169) is also on hand to offer friendly and easy to understand information.”

The Welsh Health Minister, Lesley Griffiths, said:
“Wales led the way on voting to ban smoking in public places, followed by the rest of the UK.”
“The immediate impact of the ban was a sharp drop in non-smoking adults being regularly exposed to other people’s smoke, and recent figures suggest this initial decrease in exposure has become a welcome trend.”