Mark Drakeford, Minister for Health and Social Services
Standardised packaging of tobacco products
I have now considered responses to the UK-wide consultation on standardised packaging, alongside our approach to tobacco legislation in Wales more generally.
I believe that the introduction of standardised packaging has the potential to be an important public health tool in our bid to reduce the harm from tobacco-related illness. Responses to the recent consultation demonstrated support for the introduction of standardised packaging, and I have asked my officials to undertake further work on this issue.
A UK-wide approach to legislation would seem to be the most appropriate way forward; and I have therefore written to the Right Honourable Jeremy Hunt MP, Secretary of State for Health, urging him to take an early decision to support the introduction of legislation on standardised packaging.
Sub Committees on The Smoke-free Premises etc. (Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2012
The Smoke-free Premises etc. (Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2012, which would amend the 2007 Regulations to provide an exemption for performers in certain circumstances, were laid on 18 July. Prior to them being debated it was announced that the Enterprise and Business Committee and the Health and Social Care Committee of the Assembly would take evidence from all interested parties on this matter, with a view to producing a final report on their conclusions.
The Minister for Economy, Science and Transport and I have reviewed the evidence presented to the sub-committees to date, and have concluded that the Government will not proceed with the original proposals at this time. We have therefore written to the Chairs of those committees on this basis.
We would like to thank all Members who have taken part in the discussions for the valuable evidence collated and integrated as part of your work.