21 March 2007
On 2 April 2007, Wales will join nine other countries of the world in banning smoking in enclosed public places and workplaces. The ban will protect the public from the harmful effects of second hand smoke. It is also hoped that the ban will encourage the quarter of the Welsh population who do smoke, to quit and discourage others from starting.
On No Smoking Day (14th March) the Council’s Environmental Health Team joined colleagues from the Blaenau Gwent Public Health Team at ASDA in Brynmawr to promote the benefits of giving up smoking and provide information on the smoking ban.
Hundreds of shoppers stopped to speak to the team, with the overwhelming message that they were in support of the ban, from smokers and non-smokers alike.
The Council’s Environmental Heath Team has been visiting local business groups, town councils and other interested parties for the past month highlighting the need for businesses to prepare for the ban. There is clear evidence, once again from Scotland and Ireland, that those businesses that see the ban as a challenge to improve and increase their business are the ones that will succeed and even benefit from the ban.
After 2 April, Environmental Health Officers will be visiting businesses throughout the County Borough. These visits will be used to formally inspect premises to ensure that they are complying with the new laws. The visits will also be used as a means to continue to educate and inform businesses and the public on the implications and benefits of the ban.
Councillor Barrie Sutton, Executive Member for Neighbourhood Services, Community Protection, said: “In Scotland and Ireland there was overwhelming support for the ban. It is good to have first hand evidence that residents of Blaenau Gwent are also supporting this important change in the law. We do not want any individual or business to be unsure of the implications of the ban on smoking in enclosed public places, and are working to ensure that everyone is prepared.”
If you would like information on the ban then please visit the smoking ban website www.smokingbanwales.co.uk. If you have particular concerns about your business, please contact the Environmental Health Section on (01495) 355056 who will be happy to advise you.