The welsh government is launching a campaign that aims to all but end the use of tobacco products in the country by the end of the decade. 

Numerous studies have highlighted a strong link between smoking and deprivation, while evidence also shows that those with mental health issues are twice as likely to smoke. In light of this, the Welsh government said it wants to improve public health and create a fairer, more equal society.

Announcing the long-term strategy, Deputy Minister for Wellbeing, Lynne Neagle, said the government’s ambitious plans will aim to reduce the rate of smokers from 14% of the population to just 5% by 2030.

“Our ambition is to make Wales smoke-free and to support people to make choices to improve their health and wellbeing,” she said.

Declaring War on Smoking 

  • Smoking causes 6,000 annual deaths in the country
  • Costs to NHS huge
  • Lost productivity and social care needs make cost even higher
  • Ministers hoping campaign will save lives and ease pressure on health service

Despite the steady decrease in the number of smokers in Wales and the rest of the UK, smoking is still the leading cause of preventable death in the country. In fact, smoking is attributed to 6,000 annual deaths in Wales alone, a shocking figure when you consider the country’s population is only slightly north of 3 million. 

Not only does the habit rob around half of all smokers of many years of their lives, but the cost of treating smoking-related illness is astronomical for the National Health Service. Indeed, it’s estimated that smoking-related illnesses cost the NHS a hefty £2.5billion per year in hospital admissions, GP consultations and prescriptions, while operations and other treatments also contribute to the eye-watering bill.

But if that wasn’t shocking enough, it’s estimated that once the cost of smoking-related care and lost productivity for businesses is also factored in, the total cost of smoking for the British taxpayer is a colossal £12.6billion per year.

With all this considered, it’s little surprise the Welsh government is stepping up its efforts to turn the nation into a smoke-free zone as it’ll save the health service huge amounts of money, free up services for others and ensure much of the population enjoys a healthier, longer life.

 Previous measures put in place 

This isn’t the first time the Welsh government has taken the initiative with regards to smoking. Earlier this year, Wales became the first country within the United Kingdom to ban smoking in some outdoor public places, including playgrounds, outdoor care settings and school and hospital grounds. From next year, it’ll also be against the law to smoke in hotels and some types of holiday accommodation such as caravans and self-contained holiday homes.

And now, ministers have decided to step up their efforts to make smoking a thing of the past with a new campaign that intends to all but eradicate the use of tobacco products in the country by the next decade. 

How does Wales plan to go “smoke-free”? 

A consultation was opened on Monday November 8th which asks members of the public to share their suggestions on how to reduce smoking in the country. This will be open until January 31st, and after that the Welsh government will decide on the strategy it plans to use to achieve the campaign’s goals.

We’ll be sure to post an update on this story when the strategy becomes clear.

How vaping can play a key role 

One method that’s proven to be effective for those trying to quit smoking is the use of vape devices. Vaping e-liquid that contains nicotine is a great way to get your fix while avoiding the 5,000 or so chemicals you inhale with regular tobacco products. 

The British government and the NHS already endorse e-cigarettes as a way to give up smoking after Public Health England (PHE) established they’re at least 95% safer than regular tobacco products. 

Furthermore, not only is vaping much safer than smoking, but as a cessation tool e-cigarettes have been proven to be twice as effective as other nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) products such as patches, lozenges and gum.

Just recently, Health Minister Sajid Javid announced the UK government is seriously considering prescribing e-cigarettes on the NHS as a way to help people quit, so it’ll be interesting to see what role – if any – vape devices play in Wales’ “smoke-free “ campaign.

Getting started 

If you’re looking for a safer, effective product to help you finally kick cigarettes to the curb then vaping might be the ideal solution. For more information, check out our Getting Started guide that should provide all the info a beginner could need.

And if you’re in search of the ideal device to help ease the transition from smoking to vaping then Innokin – the masters of starter kits – have recently released another excellent product that was designed with beginners in mind.