Vaping News

Wales Forgets About Vaping

Mark Drakeford’s Welsh administration continues its current mission to ban things, this time focussing on smoking – but where is any mention of vaping as a safer alternative?

Share on:
Mark Drakeford’s Welsh administration continues its current mission to ban things, this time focussing on smoking. The government will extend bans on smoking with the aim of “de-normalising” it, and funds have been set aside to put the measures into place, but there is no mention of vaping.

Drakeford’s Health Minister Vaughan Gething has announced they intend to ban smoking from ban smoking from all school, hospital grounds and public grounds.

He said: “We will continue to take steps to de-normalise this habit and provide a very clear message for children. The evidence that smoking is harmful and damaging is clear cut and our message must be too. The restrictions for hospital grounds will promote behaviour change and support smoking cessation among smokers who use our hospital sites and services.

“Whilst the evidence on smoking and COVID-19 is still emerging, smokers generally have an increased risk of contracting respiratory infections, such as COVID-19, and so the introduction of these requirements are supporting our response to the pandemic.

“We are committed to our longer-term goal of making more of Wales’ public spaces smoke-free, helping people to make positive changes to not only their own lives, but also to the health and well-being of their children and families.”

The explanatory memorandum accompanying the Act states that the intention is “to improve health and well-being in Wales”. Part of this entails possibly removing the exclusion of home dwellings used as places of work: “The effect of removing these exclusions within the 2020 Regulations is that all types of work activities will be included in the assessment of whether a dwelling is a workplace and therefore more of those work places will be required to be smoke-free.”

More perturbing, there is a proposal for mental health units (MHUs). “The permission to designate a room for smoking within the premises would expire 18 months after the regulations come into effect.”

Given the high rate of smoking in MHU patients, a number of settings in England are embracing vaping to aid the units achieving smoke-free status. Rather than instructing the MHUs in Wales to adopt a similar approach, Mark Drakeford appears to be returning to his failed plans to crack down on vaping - only this time through omission.

In March, Public Health England issued guidance about the use of vaping in mental health settings. It stated: “E-cigarettes are effective in helping smokers to quit, especially when combined with behavioural support. E-cigarettes are not covered by smokefree legislation and there is no evidence that passive exposure can cause harm other than to people with pre-existing respiratory conditions.”

Drakeford’s proposals aren’t set in stone yet, there is still time for Welsh Labour to get on board with the tobacco harm reduction carrot rather than focus solely on the prohibition stick.


  • Advice Update to Mental Health Organisations – [link]
Dave Cross avatar

Dave Cross

Journalist at POTV
View Articles

Dave is a freelance writer; with articles on music, motorbikes, football, pop-science, vaping and tobacco harm reduction in Sounds, Melody Maker, UBG, AWoL, Bike, When Saturday Comes, Vape News Magazine, and syndicated across the Johnston Press group. He was published in an anthology of “Greatest Football Writing”, but still believes this was a mistake. Dave contributes sketches to comedy shows and used to co-host a radio sketch show. He’s worked with numerous vape companies to develop content for their websites.

Join the discussion

Vaping News

Harm Reduction For The Rich

The United Kingdom risks becoming a harm reduction country only for the wealthy, according to Michael Landl of the World Vapers’ Alliance

Vaping News

CAPHRA Highlights Tobacco Control Flaws

The Coalition of Asia Pacific Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates highlights the flaws in tobacco control which has led to the rise of black market in Australia

Vaping News

A Missed Opportunity at COP10

The Smoke Free Sweden movement says that COP10 was a missed opportunity to save millions of lives

Vaping News

COP10: Promote Tobacco Harm Reduction

Experts with Smoke Free Sweden are emphasising the urgent need for a Tobacco Harm Reduction approach at COP10