Welsh Government sets out vision for creating a smoke-free society by 2030

The plans include a commitment to creating an opt-out quit smoking programme for all hospital patients Credit: PA Images

The Welsh Government has set out its plan for making Wales a smoke-free nation in the next eight years.

Its stated aim is for less than 5% of Wales' adult population to be actively smoking by the year 2030.

The strategy includes a commitment to the creation of an opt-out quit smoking programme for all patients admitted to hospital, the exploration of e-cigarettes as a potential route to quitting and an increased effort to tackle the illegal tobacco market in Wales.

Smoking remains the leading cause of preventable and premature ill-health in Wales, the Welsh Government says.

Some anti-smoking groups welcomed the fresh commitment to a smoke-free nation.

Suzanne Cass, CEO of ASH Wales, said: "Public support for an Endgame target is overwhelming, 73% of Welsh adults want Wales to become smoke-free.

"Welsh Government's commitment to this target is welcome, however, this bold strategyis going to need bold and decisive action to hit that 5% target by 2030.

The publication of the new strategy has been eagerly awaited by other health charities across Wales.

Katie Till, Cancer Research UK's public affairs manager in Wales, said: "Smoking remains the biggest preventable cause of cancer and is responsible for around 3,100cancer cases in Wales every year.

"Achieving a smoke-free Wales by 2030 would save lives.

"For Wales to hit this target, we need to see ambition in the way we support people to quit and prevent people from starting.

"Smoking is also the single biggest driver of inequalities in life expectancy in the UK.

"It's critical the plan addresses this, so fewer people are affected by the harms of smoking in the future."