Smoking in Wales

Our ultimate aim is for Wales to become a smokefree nation. This is generally defined as a smoking prevalence rate of 5% or less. To assess progress towards this goal, we keep track of statistics and information about smoking in Wales.

Smoking and young people

A classroom full of children take up smoking every day in Wales. Young people are the tobacco industry’s key target since they are the only ones who can replace their lifelong, but dying, customers.

Smoking and inequalities

Inequality relates to the diversity in society and the unequal treatment sub-sections of society face. In terms of smoking, there are inequalities across a number of groups.

Smoking in pregnancy

Smoking while pregnant puts both mother and baby at risk of significant harm to their health. Every time a mother smokes a cigarette, she inhales carbon monoxide (CO) which reduces the amount of oxygen to the placenta.

Smoking and mental health

Smoking rates are higher among people suffering from mental health disorders. Researchers suggest smoking has an impact on people’s mental health and that stopping smoking could help to improve mental health.

Heat not burn products

Heat not burn products use compressed tobacco in a ‘mini-cigarette’ form in a vapouriser. Unlike electronic cigarettes which vapourise nicotine suspended in a liquid, a heat not burn device heats and vapourises actual tobacco.

Electronic cigarettes

The advent of e-cigarettes has caused much debate in the public health community. Some take a cautionary approach whereas others see e-cigarettes in a more positive light.

Shisha / Hookah

Shisha itself is a tobacco-based product that is smoked through a water bowl. The tobacco is normally fruit flavoured which masks the harsh taste.

Standardised / plain packaging

Standardised or ‘plain’ packaging will require all cigarettes and tobacco to be packaged in an olive colour with no marketing or branding.

Illegal tobacco

The availability of illegal tobacco undermines a range of key measures including taxation, age restrictions on sales and point-of-sale display bans.

Tobacco point of sale displays

Cigarettes are now hidden from view in all shops and bars in Wales after new regulations fully came into force on 6th April 2015 banning all tobacco products from display at the point of sale.

Smoking in cars

Smoking in a private vehicle when someone under the age of 18 is there too became illegal in England and Wales on the 1st October 2015.

Smokefree spaces

We believe that Wales can lead the way in creating healthy, outdoor smokefree spaces for everyone to enjoy. We're working with organisations across the country to bring smokefree spaces to the fore of their agendas.

Smokefree beaches

Wales has some of the best beaches in the UK. Banning smoking will have a huge impact on reducing litter as well as protecting young people from second-hand smoke and from seeing smoking as 'normal.'

Smokefree businesses

As well as the damaging effects on the health of employees, it is widely recognised that smoking has a damaging impact on the productivity of businesses and to the wider Welsh economy.

Smokefree homes

The home remains the environment where second-hand smoke exposure is likely to be the highest, particularly for children. Smoking indoors has a big impact on children, pets and there's the risk of fires too.

Smokefree hospitals

Thousands of patients attend hospital every year and these secondary institutions have a duty of care to protect the health of, and promote healthy behaviour among those who use and work within their services.

Smokefree prisons

Under the Smokefree Premises etc (Wales) Regulations 2007 smoking in prisons in Wales was made illegal. Despite this ban smoking remained prevalent in Welsh prisons until 2016.

Smokefree playgrounds

For 4 years we've campaigned for all local authorities in Wales to introduce smokefree policies in their children’s playgrounds. As of March 2016, all local authorities in Wales have implemented voluntary bans in their local playgrounds.

Smokefree school gates

School gates are a key area which have been identified as a place where young people congregate daily, are influenced by adults around them and are affected by smoking.

Smokefree universities

Universities are a hub for young people as well as providing jobs for thousands of staff. Smokefree campuses will improve the health of staff and students and reduce smoking-related litter.