Wales to go smokefree on April 2nd says assembly

In collaboration with the Press Association

The Welsh Assembly has announced that the ban on smoking in all public places will come into effect on 2 April next year.

A smoking ban will also be launched in Northern Ireland on the same day, while a ban in England will be applied from an as-yet unnamed date next summer.

A ban on smoking in all enclosed public places was approved by assembly members in 2003, but could not be passed into law until England's Health Act was passed this year.

The chief medical officer for Wales has estimated that the ban will prevent 400 smoke-related deaths from lung cancer, heart disease, strokes and respiratory disease every year.

"The second of April will be an historic day for Wales," said chief executive of Cancer Research UK, professor Alex Markham.

"Making all workplaces and enclosed public places smokefree will bring about some of the most significant health improvements the country has seen in decades, saving thousands of lives.

"And as most smokers want to quit, the ban will give them the golden opportunity to give up for good."

The Welsh Assembly will now launch an awareness raising campaign on the ban and open a public consultation on its details, open for the next month.