WQ93025 (e) Tabled on 28/05/2024

Will the Cabinet Secretary set out the Welsh Government’s assessment of the impact of the loss of the planned UK Government Tobacco and Vapes Bill due to the calling of the general election, on plans to create a smoke-free Wales?

Answered by Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Care | Answered on 31/05/2024

I am extremely disappointed the UK Tobacco and Vapes Bill did not progress through UK Parliament before its dissolution ahead of the General Election. We had worked closely with the UK Government and the other Devolved Governments on the development of the Bill to ensure it reflected Wales’s public health ambitions.

However, we are committed to our ambitious target of achieving a smoke-free Wales by 2030, reducing smoking levels in our communities to 5% or less.

Smoking is a huge burden on our NHS and social care services and contributes significantly to health. We will continue to highlight the need for this essential and world-leading legislation – which is supported by all Chief Medical Officers across the UK.

But any future decisions about a UK-wide Bill will be for the next UK Government which forms following the election. We will continue to work closely on a four-nation basis to progress action on tackling smoking and reducing youth vaping.

We will take action on single-use vapes. These products have significant environmental impacts and are an important driver of the recent increase in youth vaping. We announced our intention to ban these products from 1 April 2025.