A new law making it illegal to smoke on hospital grounds in Wales has come into force.
The law, which came into force on Monday (March 1), also makes it illegal to smoke on school grounds, public playgrounds and outdoor areas of day care and child minding settings.
People who break the new rules could face a fine of up to £100.
Welsh Government’s mental health and wellbeing minister, Eluned Morgan, said it was a “proud day for Wales”.
Ms Morgan said: “The law will not only help smokers quit, but it will also discourage others from starting smoking in the first place. We’ve seen the impact of the indoor smoking ban and we hope this will be similarly successful.
“This legislation will benefit the health of future generations in Wales, as fewer children will be exposed to smoking and, we hope, fewer will take it up themselves.”
She added: “We need to do everything we can to combat the harmful effects of smoking. There are resources and support services available from Help Me Quit for those looking to give up smoking, and I hope our action will be the catalyst to a healthier, smoke-free Wales for years to come.”
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Meanwhile, an audio-speaker system with a push button is being installed at the entrances to the Royal Gwent Hospital in Newport and the new Grange Hospital in Cwmbran.
If the button is pressed, a recorded message will play, reminding people that smoking on hospital grounds is banned.
Smoke-free enforcement officers, employed by health boards, will patrol hospital grounds to discourage smoking, while signage will also be put up reminding people not to smoke.
Matt Lloyd, who is a smoke-free enforcement officer employed by the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, said: “The majority of smokers stop smoking when I approach them. I then remind them about our smoke-free environment policy and the new law.
“If somebody refuses to stop smoking, I talk to them about why we have the policy and the law. If they are a patient, I can contact their ward manager who will offer them nicotine replacement therapy to help with cravings.
“It is everybody’s responsibility to support the smoke-free policy and up-coming law to make sure we offer our staff, patients and visitors a safe and positive experience when using our NHS services.”
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