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Ash Cymru Misses the Mark

ASH Cymru says its survey supports harsh action for a Smoke-free Wales but fails to push for the promotion of the GB’s most popular quit method: vaping

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ASH Cymru says its latest survey demonstrates clear popular support for harsher action to achieve a Smoke-free Wales. The organisation laments misunderstanding about the relative safety of vaping but fails to push for the greater promotion of electronic cigarettes. Vaping has been shown in research to be the most popular and successful way of quitting smoking in Great Britain.

New figures released today show the majority of Welsh adults support plans for Wales to become smoke-free. The figures come just weeks after Welsh Government unveiled its plans to reduce the number of adult smokers in Wales to 5% or less by 2030,” said ASH Wales as it presented its annual YouGov survey.

Support for Regulation findings:

  • 83% support requiring businesses to have a valid licence to sell tobacco, which can be removed if they sell to underage smokers more than once. Only 4% oppose this.
  • 63% of all Welsh adults surveyed believe penalties for people who sell illegal tobacco should be higher to deter sales.
  • The majority of adults (73%) support a ban on advertising smoking material and accessories (for example brands of rolling papers).
  • 71% believe that all government health policy should be protected from the influence of the tobacco industry and its representatives.
  • The vast majority of respondents (84%) support the banning of cigarette butts that contain plastic to protect the environment.
  • When it comes to protecting children, 89% of adults were in favour of banning smoking in children’s play areas, including 76% of smokers.
  • The vast majority (80%) believe smoking should be banned in outdoor areas where children play sport, with 59% strongly supporting this action.
  • 64% would support a ban on smoking in all cars.
  • 62% would support banning smoking in outdoor eating areas of all restaurants, pubs and cafes.
  • 59% would support banning smoking in parks.
  • 59% would support banning smoking on university and college campuses.
  • 58% would support banning smoking on beaches.
  • 54% would support banning smoking in town centres.

Suzanne Cass, CEO of ASH Cymru, said: “The Welsh Government has recently published a bold tobacco control strategy that seeks to significantly reduce the death and disability caused by smoking in Wales.

“Today’s survey shows strong majority support for many of the actions relayed in the Government’s new strategy, but most importantly, the survey highlights which actions matter most to our society.

“There is solid support for actions that protect children, the environment, and improving education around smoking in Wales. I urge Welsh Government to approach these areas with renewed vigour in light of strong public support.”

The absence of any mention of vaping is noticeable in ASH Cymru’s press release, and things do not improve markedly in the survey report.

Information about e-cigarettes is limited to the findings that 8% of respondents said they vape, 84% of those who vape use nicotine-containing e-liquids, and ASH Cymru say “worryingly” 32% of smokers think vaping is worse than smoking.

Absolutely no mention of the promotion of e-cigarettes is made in ASH Cymru’s recommendations to the Welsh government for smoking cessation and prevention. With this stance, how does the organisation hope to correct misunderstandings held by smokers?

Vaping is now an integrated part of the advice given out by English quit smoking services; it is time for ASH Cymru to get behind giving the same health advice to Welsh smokers.


Dave Cross avatar

Dave Cross

Journalist at POTV
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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.

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