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Assembly Members to vote on whether to ban smoking in cars carrying children

If approved, smoking in cars carrying children under the age of 18 will be banned.

A debate will be held later in the National Assembly for Wales for AMs to vote on whether to ban smoking in cars carrying children under the age of 18.

If approved, a ban will come into force on October 1, 2015. A ban in England will also come into force on the same day.

Offenders could receive a £50 fine for each offence, if the ban is introduced.

Some people believe that opening the window of a car will help disperse smoke but in reality it simply blows back in. It causes a real and substantial threat to children's health.

Children cannot escape from toxic chemicals contained in second-hand smoke when travelling in cars.

They often don't have a choice over whether or not they travel in cars and may not feel able to ask an adult to stop smoking.

– Mark Drakeford AM, Minister for Health and Social Services

£6m to help older people live independently

Credit: Peter Byrne/PA Wire

The Welsh Government has announced a £6 million investment to help older people in Wales live independently in their own home.

It says the funding supports the work of the Care and Repair service. It provides adaptations like ramps, handrails, and safety alarms, to enable older people to live safely in their own homes.

£2 million of the funding is for the Rapid Response Adaptations Programme, which provides minor adaptations to help prevent many people from having to be admitted to hospital.

The Welsh Government says estimates show every pound invested in the programme creates a £7.50 saving for health and social services.

Care and Repair and the Rapid Response Adaptations Programme help transform the lives of more than 40,000 older people across Wales every year.

By providing relatively small home adaptations, these services enable people to continue to live safely in the homes they love with the dignity they deserve.

As people across Wales live longer, healthier lives, such preventative measures play an increasingly important role in supporting our health and social services.

– Lesley Griffiths AM, Minister for Communities and Tackling Poverty

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Smacking ban defeated

Assembly Members have voted by 36 to 16 against adding a total ban on smacking children to a bill aimed at combating domestic violence. The Welsh Government argued that it was not the right way to end the defence of "reasonable punishment" by parents. This applies to a "transient or trivial" injury to their children. The call for a ban came from the Labour backbencher Julie Morgan, who defied the Labour whip. She said it was impossible to justify allowing adults to hit children.

Fewer children with tooth decay in Wales

Fewer children in Wales are experiencing tooth decay and overall levels of dental disease are falling, according to the latest report on Designed to Smile - the Welsh Government's national programme to improve children's oral health.

The report found that more children took part in supervised tooth brushing activities at home, with almost 93,000 children taking part - 5,500 more than last year.

More than 91,000 children have benefitted from oral health education sessions in schools. Credit: PA

Six years after the launch of Designed to Smile, children and young people in Wales are seeing the benefits of this programme.

Designed to Smile offers toothbrushing and fluoride varnish programmes for young children in their schools and nurseries; helping children and their families to keep their teeth healthy as they grow older.

Dental health professionals can provide a fissure sealant programme to older children who may need it, as well as advice on how to look after their teeth to prevent problems later on.

– Mark Drakeford AM, Minister for Health and Social Services
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