Smoke-Free Wales – Tobacco Control Strategy – What’s Vaping?

The Welsh Government unveiled their plans to achieve a Smoke-Free Wales by 2030 on July 26th 2022.

This is as a result of a consultation which closed on 31st March 2022.

Obviously this is quite a lengthy document so I will try to summarise the main points.

The ambition is to make smoking prevalence rates 5% or lower in adults over the next 8 years.

Lynne Neagle – the Deputy Minister for Mental Health and Wellbeing is the minister concerned and I will cover some of the proposals below.


The main strategy breaks down into 3 key areas…

·Reducing inequalities
·Future generations
·A whole-system approach for a Smoke-Free Wales.

To achieve these goals the government will collaborate with NHS Wales, Local Authorities, Public Health Wales and other organisations.

Reducing Inequalities

·Focus on the inequalities caused by smoking.
·Work with smokers to better understand what is stopping them from quitting and what support they need to overcome their barriers, and support smokers to become Smoke-free.
·Reduce the uptake of smoking in Wales for those at highest risk of taking up smoking.
·Ensure appropriate smoking cessation support is available to all with targeted support available for those groups with higher smoking prevalence.

Future Generations

·Create an environment where smoke-free is the norm for all children and
young people in Wales.
·Increase the proportion of smoke-free pregnancies in Wales, and promote a
smoke-free preconception period.
·Promote a smoke-free childhood and aim to break generational smoking
patterns to achieve a smoke-free generation.
·Make smoke-free the norm to deter social smoking amongst children and
young people.
·Increase the proportion of teenagers and young people who remain smoke-free by reducing the uptake of smoking, whilst also discouraging the uptake
of e-cigarettes or other nicotine products in teenagers and young people.
·Identify the groups of children and young people who are at higher risk of
taking up smoking, and work with them to identify ways to help them to
remain smoke-free.
·Identify priority groups of children and young people who have a higher
prevalence of smoking, and work with them to understand their reasons for
smoking, and provide evidence based targeted support to quit smoking.

A Whole-System Approach For A Smoke-Free Wales

·Embed tobacco control principles across all policy areas, and use all available systems, levers and mechanisms to create a smoke-free Wales.
·Support collaboration by ensuring the actions of all partners are co-ordinated at a local, regional and national level, and together contribute towards a smoke-free Wales.
·Ensure consistent application of evidence based tobacco control interventions across Wales with continuous service development and improvement.
·Explore innovative approaches and use of technologies to reduce smoking uptake and promote smoking cessation.
·Take further steps to protect people from the harms of second-hand smoke.
·Review the tobacco control enforcement and sanctions systems in Wales, including for illegal tobacco.

Impact On Vapers
Well surprisingly Vaping is barely mentioned – honestly!

Despite many mentions of how other countries are tackling the issue of smoking, even the UK, vaping appears to be totally off the radar in this strategy?

“Increase the proportion of teenagers and young people who remain smoke-free by reducing the uptake of smoking, whilst also discouraging the uptake of e-cigarettes or other nicotine products in teenagers and young people.”

So it sounds like the only role Vaping plays in this is to make sure youngsters are discouraged from e-cigarette use.

ASH (Action on Smoking and Health) Wales – have published their response and they state…

“This workstream will also examine how e-cigarettes will fit within the modern health landscape of Wales. Currently, national surveys show e-cigarettes are the most popular stop smoking tools in Wales.

The current evidence indicates e-cigarettes are significantly less harmful than smoking tobacco, and can help people to quit smoking, when combined with behavioural support. Welsh Government has committed to exploring their role as possible tobacco quitting aid.”

Again this seems to emphasise that the Welsh Government are way behind the times when it comes to alternative nicotine sources?


Well it’s hard to pass judgement on what the Welsh Government thinks of vaping as it almost acts as if e-cigarettes do not exist?
It seems many years behind other countries, for instance England and Scotland both are formulating tobacco control policies.
Very strange indeed.