Lynne Neagle, Deputy Minister for Mental Health and Wellbeing
I am pleased to today be publishing our new long-term tobacco control strategy A Smoke-free Wales and our first two-year delivery plan Towards a Smoke-free Wales Delivery Plan 2022-24.
The strategy sets out our ambition for Wales to be smoke-free Wales by 2030. This means reducing smoking prevalence rates among adults to 5% or less over the next eight years. To support the delivery of the strategy, we are putting in place a series of two-year delivery plans, which set out the actions we will take as we work towards a smoke-free Wales.
We have consulted and engaged widely on both these important documents. We were also keen to learn from past experiences on tobacco control and therefore commissioned a review of our previous strategy (published in 2012) and delivery plans. The outcomes of the consultation, the engagement work and the review are also being published today.
I have carefully considered the responses and a number of changes have been made to the strategy and delivery plan. I was pleased to see the support for our ambition to create a smoke-free Wales by 2030 and for the three themes identified in the strategy. I also noted from the feedback the clear importance of protecting children, young people and future generations from the dangers of tobacco and that addressing maternal smoking should be a key priority for us in achieving a smoke-free society. We have therefore strengthened our commitment to addressing these areas in response. We will also work with people and communities to understand the reasons for higher smoking rates among some groups in society and to develop effective support measures to help people quit smoking.
As a government, we are committed to delivering meaningful changes to tackle health inequalities, preventing ill health and supporting people to make healthier choices. Working towards a smoke-free Wales and supporting people to stop smoking is a key part of this.
I would like to thank all those who took part in the consultation and for help in shaping our approach towards a smoke-free Wales.
The strategy and delivery plan, together with the research report, consultation and engagement documents are available here;
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 Senedd returns I would be happy to do so.