Vaughan Gething MS, Minister for Health and Social Services
The Smoke-free Premises and Vehicles (Wales) Regulations 2020 will implement Chapter 1 of Part 3 of the Public Health (Wales) Act 2017 and replace the Smoke-free Premises etc. (Wales) Regulations 2007 which prohibit smoking in enclosed public places and work places. They will also replace subsequent amendments to the 2007 Regulations concerning smoking in private vehicles.
Using powers in the Public Health (Wales) Act 2017, the regulations will also extend the smoking ban to outdoor areas of hospital grounds, school grounds, and local authority playgrounds.
The Welsh Government undertook a consultation on the draft regulations between 25 May and 17 August 2018. A summary of the responses received during the consultation is available on the Welsh Government website: https://gov.wales/smoke-free-premises-and-vehicles-wales-regulations-2018
The consultation process highlighted some specific issues which were considered and further discussed with stakeholders in the development of the final draft regulations. This final draft of the regulations has been notified to the EU and other Member States under the Technical Standards Directive 2015/1535/EU https://ec.europa.eu/growth/tools-databases/tris/en/. This is as a result of the technical requirements in the regulations as to the lay-out and form of no-smoking signs (regulations 13, 14 and 18). A standstill period of three months during which no further action may be taken on the draft regulations is now in place.
Whilst I am keen for the measures to be in place, and it is my intention for the Plenary debate on these regulations to take place in Autumn term, I understand their success relies on the efforts of key stakeholders. I therefore intend for my officials to work with stakeholders to establish when capacity will be available to support their introduction and to gain their views on a preferred coming into force date.
I remain committed to making more of Wales’ public spaces smoke free and intend to progress work in the next Senedd term to extend the smoking ban to outdoor areas of cafes and restaurants and city and town centres.