04 January 2006
A no smoking policy has been introduced to all leisure facilities across the County Borough.
A smoking ban was introduced in March 2003, with some exemptions allowed such as the bars in sports centres, community centres and cultural venues. However it has now been agreed to ban smoking in all leisure venues.
The Welsh Assembly Government’s Sponsored Public Bodies, such as the Sports Council for Wales and the Arts Council for Wales are working to introduce smoking bans to all sporting and cultural venues across Wales.
Research carried out by the Imperial College in London showed that exposure to second-hand smoke in public places causes around 617 premature deaths in the UK each year.
Extensive partnership working between the Leisure Services Division and the National Public Health Service (NPHS) is currently underway to explore preventative healthcare measures. The new smoking ban will also help the NPHS with their wider aim to stop people from smoking.
Councillor Steve Thomas, Executive Member for Health and Well Being – Healthy Living, said: “The introduction of this new policy is part of the Council’s commitment to improving the health and well being of local residents. The borough’s leisure facilities should be at the forefront of promoting healthy lifestyles, and it makes sense that we should be taking all practical measures to reduce smoking.
“The smoking ban will have benefits for people who use the leisure facilities in Blaenau Gwent and for the staff that work at the venues.”