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We are consulting on:

  • how our strategy will help us to become smoke-free in Wales by 2030
  • the actions from our first delivery plan supporting that including:
  • making smoke-free the norm in Wales
  • supporting groups and communities that have higher levels of smoking
  • tackling the sale of illegal tobacco

‘Smoke-free’ means that less than 5% of adults in Wales are smokers.

Overview

The Welsh Government is committed to achieving a Smoke-free Wales. This consultation relates to our tobacco control Strategy and Delivery Plan and sets out how a smoke-free Wales could be achieved and seeks views on those proposals.

Introduction

Smoking is extremely harmful and damaging to health. Although smoking rates have been decreasing, smoking remains the leading cause of preventable death in Wales - in 2018, around 5,600 deaths in people aged 35 and over were attributable to smoking. Smoking is also associated with a wide variety of diseases that can result in admission to hospital. In 2018/19, around 28,000 admissions in people aged 35 and over are estimated to be attributable to smoking, which represents around 4.6 percent of all admissions in this age group. We also know that smoking is a major cause of inequalities with those living in our more deprived communities more likely to smoke than those in the least deprived areas.

Whilst we have made significant progress in recent years in reducing the number of people smoking in Wales, we know we have much more to do to create a Wales where smoke-free is the norm, to prevent our children and young people from starting smoking in the first place and to support smokers to quit.

We are committed to preventing ill health and supporting people to make healthier choices for their health and wellbeing. The purpose of this consultation is to seek views on the draft long term tobacco control strategy for Wales: A Smoke-free Wales and our first two year delivery plan: Towards a Smoke-Free Wales: Tobacco Control Delivery Plan 2022-2024.

We have engaged with a wide range of stakeholders during the development of this strategy and delivery plan, including working with an advisory working group of stakeholders to gain their insight and advice. In early 2020 the Welsh Government also held an event as an opportunity for stakeholders to come together and begin the process of sharing ideas about what should be our ambition for tobacco control and our areas of focus. The work was paused in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, however the development work was restarted in summer 2021 and the draft strategy and delivery plan documents developed.

A smoke-free Wales: Our long term tobacco control strategy

The draft strategy sets out our vision for a smoke-free Wales by 2030, this means achieving a smoking prevalence rate in adults of 5% or less over the next eight years.

To support this ambition, we will be driving forward work across our three key themes of Reducing Inequalities, Future Generations and a Whole-System Approach for a Smoke-Free Wales.

Reducing inequalities

Despite progress in reducing smoking, we know that rates of smoking and use of other tobacco products in Wales vary between different groups of people. These disparities are causing a greater burden of smoking related diseases in certain groups and in turn, contributing to inequalities and health inequalities. This theme therefore focused on reducing the inequalities caused by smoking.

Future generations

Smoking impacts on the lives of children and young people throughout their childhood, from pregnancy to adolescence. This theme focuses on creating an environment where smoke-free is the norm for all children and young people in Wales and remain smoke-free into adulthood. A Whole-System Approach for a Smoke-Free Wales.

A whole-system approach for a smoke-free Wales

To achieve our ambition of a smoke-free Wales, we must take a whole-system approach to tobacco control. This means everyone working together in a collective effort to contribute to this shared vision in order to achieve change. This theme supports evidence-based interventions with continuous service improvement and innovative approaches and solutions as well as to looking for more opportunities at national and local levels to achieve a healthier, smoke-free future.

In delivering the strategy, we will put in place a series of two-year delivery plans, starting from 2022-2024 which will set out in detail the actions that we will undertake and support as we work towards a smoke-free Wales.

By organising our actions into two-year delivery plans, we aim to build and maintain momentum and focus on the areas that will support our ambition, but also retain the flexibility to adapt to changing environments and priorities. Organising our actions in this way will also allow us to learn from, and build upon previous plans. We will also be clear on the changes that each delivery plan will achieve as we make progress towards our ambition.

Towards a smoke-free Wales: Tobacco control delivery plan 2022 to 2024

Towards a Smoke-Free Wales is the first in the series of Delivery Plans and groups the actions we will take between April 2022 – March 2024 into five priority action areas. These are:

  1. Smoke-Free environments – we will be progressing actions that promote smoke-free environments in Wales.
  2. Continuous improvement and supporting innovation – the actions will build upon the existing tobacco control systems in place by exploring how it can incorporate innovative, evidence-based interventions that scale up and support our ambition for Wales to become smoke-free.
  3. Priority groups – the actions will support the development of specific, evidence-based interventions that are appropriate and tailored to address smoking prevalence in priority groups.
  4. Tackle illegal tobacco and the tobacco control legal framework – the actions will look to ensure we have the right tools to protect the public, particularly children and young people, from the harms of tobacco and nicotine products.
  5. Working across the UK – we will continue work in partnership with the other UK nations to share best practice and advocate, support and implement strong tobacco control measures.

These five areas cut across the three themes set out in the strategy and will support the changes needed to make smoke-free the norm, as well as the promotion of best practice and integration of tobacco control across the whole system.

Monitoring and delivery

Delivery of the strategy and the delivery plans will be the responsibility of the Tobacco Control Strategic Board. This Board will have representation from our key partners in tobacco control, and will provide the leadership needed and take the decisions necessary for the successful delivery of the strategy and delivery plans. An implementation group will also be established with the remit of supporting, monitoring and implementing the biennial delivery plans, as well as undertaking the engagement and collaboration needed. This group will report to the Tobacco Control Strategic Board.

Smoking prevalence

Whilst we have established that it is our ambition to achieve a smoke-free Wales by 2030 (defined as a smoking prevalence rate of 5% or less in adults aged over 18 in Wales), we have not set milestone prevalence targets in our strategy or set a smoking prevalence rate that we will look to achieve by the end of the first delivery plan due to current limitations in the necessary data. We recognise that one of the first undertakings is to ensure we have the right data being collected at the right points from the right sources to ensure ongoing and robust monitoring of our delivery plans and strategy. This work is already underway and is intended to allow us to monitor our progress in a much more refined way. We will also aim to develop data to demonstrate progress across different communities and demographics across Wales, allowing us to provide regular reporting against our plans in a much more timely way than we do now. This doesn’t mean that we won’t ever set interim targets as we proceed through the plans. If our governance structures determine that interim targets are needed to drive progress, the flexibility of the biennial delivery plans will allow us to do so throughout the lifetime of the strategy.

Our aim is for a step-wise reduction in prevalence during the lifetime of the strategy and as we look to achieve our smoke-free ambition by 2030 and we aim to work to ensure we have the monitoring systems in place to demonstrate this.

Consultations timeline

The consultation will close on 31 March 2022. We want to hear views and get feedback on our plans for tobacco control in Wales from everyone affected by tobacco in Wales, including the public, young people and stakeholders.

We are also planning engagement events during the consultation period. If you would like to be involved, please contact us at: tobaccopolicy@gov.wales for further details.

We will reflect on the feedback and responses we receive during the consultation with the aim of publishing the final strategy and 2022-2024 delivery plan in spring 2022.

Consultation questions

Question 1

It is our ambition to become a smoke-free Wales by 2030 (smoke-free means that 5% or less of adults in Wales smoke). All our actions over the next 8 years will work towards and contribute to achieving this.

Do you agree with our ambition of Wales becoming smoke-free by 2030?

Please explain why our ambition is right or how our ambition would need to change if you think a different approach is needed.

Question 2

The strategy sets out three themes under which we will work as we drive forward the changes in smoking in Wales:

  • Theme 1: Reducing Inequalities
  • Theme 2: Future Generations
  • Theme 3: A Whole-System Approach for a Smoke-Free Wales

Do you agree that these are the right themes to focus the strategy around?

Please explain why you consider the themes are right or if you think a different approach is needed.

Question 3

Whilst we have established that it is our ambition to achieve a smoke-free Wales by 2030, we have not set milestone smoking prevalence targets in our strategy or set a smoking prevalence rate that we will look to achieve by the end of the first delivery plan. However, our aim is for a step-wise reduction in smoking prevalence over the next 8 years. We will use the following data sources to monitoring smoking rates in Wales:

  • National Survey for Wales which provides data on smoking in Wales and provides a smoking prevalence rate. Student Health and Wellbeing in Wales survey for smoking and vaping behaviours in young people aged 11-16.
  • Maternity and birth statistics for maternal smoking rates.

Do you feel this is the right approach?

Please explain why this is the right approach or if you think a different approach is needed.

Question 4

Are there any other data sources that should be used to monitor the success of the strategy and delivery plan? If so, what would they be?

Question 5

To support delivery of the strategy it is our intention to publish a series of two-year delivery plans. Do you agree that we organise our actions into two-year delivery plans?

Please explain why the structure works well or outline how it could be made better.

Question 6

In the first two-year delivery plan, which covers April 2022 – March 2024, we have grouped the actions we will take into five priority action areas:

  • Priority Action Area 1: Smoke-Free environments
  • Priority Action Area 2: Continuous improvement and supporting innovation
  • Priority Action Area 3: Priority groups
  • Priority Action Area 4: Tackle illegal tobacco and the tobacco control legal framework
  • Priority Action Area 5: Working across the UK

Do you agree that these are the right priority action areas to focus the 2022-2024 delivery plan around?

Please explain why you consider the priority action areas are right or if you think a different approach is needed.

Question 7

We have developed a number of actions within each priority action area. Do you feel these are the right ones?

Please explain why the actions are right or how they can be improved.

Question 8

Do you think there are any key actions not captured in the priority action areas? If so, what would they be?

Question 9

Do the strategy and delivery plan align with other relevant areas of policy and practice?

Please explain why it aligns well or outline how it could be made better.

Question 10

We would like to know your views on the effects that A Smoke-Free Wales: Our long term tobacco control strategy for Wales and Towards a Smoke-Free Wales: Tobacco Control Delivery Plan 2022-2024 would have on the Welsh language, specifically on opportunities for people to use Welsh and on treating the Welsh language no less favourably than English.
What effects do you think there would be? How could positive effects be increased, or negative effects be mitigated?

Question 11

Please also explain how you believe the proposed strategy and delivery plan could be formulated or changed so as to have positive effects or increased positive effects on opportunities for people to use the Welsh language and on treating the Welsh language no less favourably than the English language, and no adverse effects on opportunities for people to use the Welsh language and on treating the Welsh language no less favourably than the English language.

Question 12

We have asked a number of specific questions. If you have any related issues which we have not specifically addressed, please report them.

How to respond

Submit your comments by 31 March 2022, in any of the following ways:

Risk Behaviours Team
Welsh Government
Cathays Park
Cardiff
CF10 3NQ

Your rights

Under the data protection legislation, you have the right:

  • to be informed of the personal data held about you and to access it
  • to require us to rectify inaccuracies in that data
  • to (in certain circumstances) object to or restrict processing
  • for (in certain circumstances) your data to be ‘erased’
  • to (in certain circumstances) data portability
  • to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) who is our independent regulator for data protection.

Responses to consultations are likely to be made public, on the internet or in a report. If you would prefer your response to remain anonymous, please tell us.

For further details about the information the Welsh Government holds and its use, or if you want to exercise your rights under the GDPR, please see contact details below:

Data Protection Officer

Data Protection Officer
Welsh Government
Cathays Park
Cardiff
CF10 3NQ

E-mail: data.protectionofficer@gov.wales

Information Commissioner’s Office

Information Commissioner’s Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF

Telephone: 01625 545 745 or 0303 123 1113

Website: ico.org.uk

UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR)

The Welsh Government will be data controller for any personal data you provide as part of your response to the consultation. Welsh Ministers have statutory powers they will rely on to process this personal data which will enable them to make informed decisions about how they exercise their public functions. Any response you send us will be seen in full by Welsh Government staff dealing with the issues which this consultation is about or planning future consultations. Where the Welsh Government undertakes further analysis of consultation responses then this work may be commissioned to be carried out by an accredited third party (e.g. a research organisation or a consultancy company). Any such work will only be undertaken under contract. Welsh Government’s standard terms and conditions for such contracts set out strict requirements for the processing and safekeeping of personal data. In order to show that the consultation was carried out properly, the Welsh Government intends to publish a summary of the responses to this document. We may also publish responses in full. Normally, the name and address (or part of the address) of the person or organisation who sent the response are published with the response. If you do not want your name or address published, please tell us this in writing when you send your response. We will then redact them before publishing.

You should also be aware of our responsibilities under Freedom of Information legislation. If your details are published as part of the consultation response then these published reports will be retained indefinitely. Any of your data held otherwise by Welsh Government will be kept for no more than three years.

Further information and related documents

Number: WG43380

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