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Lynne Neagle MS, Deputy Minister for Mental Health and Well-being

First published:
2 February 2024
Last updated:

Following the publication of my written statement on 29 January confirming plans for a new Tobacco and Vapes Bill to create a smoke-free generation and prevent youth vaping, I am today publishing the first annual report for the Welsh Government’s A Smoke-free Wales strategy. 

The strategy sets out our ambition for Wales to be smokefree by 2030, which means achieving a tobacco smoking prevalence rate of 5% or less in adults over the age of 16. Achieving a smokefree Wales will improve lives by preventing smoking related illnesses and deaths and support a healthier, more equal Wales for all. 

As part of the strategy, the Welsh Government committed to publishing a series of two-year delivery plans, setting out our actions as we work towards a smoke-free Wales. We also committed in the strategy to continuously monitor and evaluate the delivery plan’s actions and publish annual progress reports to ensure progress remains on track.

We published the current delivery plan “Towards a Smoke-free Wales Tobacco Control Delivery Plan 2022-24 in July 2022.; The first annual report, covering the period July 2022-July 2023, sets out details of the activity that has taken place to progress the actions within the delivery plan’s five priority action areas. Whilst we have made solid progress across all areas of the delivery plan, we have further de-normalised smoking and reduced exposure to second-hand smoke in Wales by the phasing out of smoking rooms in mental health units and by banning smoking bedrooms in hotels and self-contained holiday accommodation, which came into force on 1 September 2022. 

We also continue to support more people to quit smoking through our Wales-wide smoking cessation service Help me Quit and are currently expanding our cessation services by implementing an in-hospital smoking service to support smokers when they are hospital in-patients. We are also working with health boards to reduce maternal smoking rates and support more children and young people to have a smoke-free childhood through a targeted cessation programme for pregnant smokers. Tackling illegal tobacco has also been at the forefront of our work and we have run information campaigns in communities to raise awareness and set up a reporting system through the NoIfs.NoButts website, which feeds intelligence to Local Authorities for investigation. 

We are currently developing our next two-year delivery plan, covering the period 2024-2026, building on our work to date to create a smoke free generation, to support more smokers to quit, and prevent our children and young people from starting smoking or vaping. I will update the Senedd again once that plan is ready for publication.