Vaughan Gething AM, Minister for Health and Social Services
The Welsh Government undertook a consultation on the draft Smoke-free Premises and Vehicles (Wales) Regulations 2018 (“the draft Regulations”) between 25 May and 17 August 2018. The document summarising the key themes from the responses received to that consultation has been published on the Welsh Government website.
The purpose of the consultation was to seek views on the Regulations and their expected regulatory impact. It is intended that the draft Regulations, once in force, will implement Chapter 1 of Part 3 of the Public Health (Wales) Act 2017 which extends the smoking ban to outdoor areas of hospital grounds, school grounds, public playgrounds and the outdoor areas of registered childcare settings. They will also revoke and replace the Smoke-free Premises etc. (Wales) Regulations 2007 (as amended), which implement the provisions of the Health Act 2006 prohibiting smoking in enclosed public and work places, and prohibit smoking in private vehicles carrying persons under 18 years old.
In total 64 responses were received from a range of organisations and members of the public, including all 7 health boards and 7 local authorities. The consultation responses were generally in support of the proposals presented in the consultation document and proposed draft Regulations.
The consultation process highlighted some specific issues with the draft Regulations which are currently being addressed by Welsh Government officials. A final version of the draft Regulations will need to be notified to the EU and other Member States under the Technical Standards Directive 2015/1535/EU. Once notified there is a standstill period of three months during which no further action may be taken on the draft Regulations.
It is our intention that the draft Regulations will come into force by early 2020.
This statement is being issued during recess in order to keep members informed. Should members wish me to make a further statement or to answer questions on this when the Assembly returns I would be happy to do so.