smokefree beaches

The first beaches in Wales to become smokefree launched in spring of 2016. There are currently 2 beaches piloting voluntary smoking bans – Little Haven in Pembrokeshire and Caswell Bay in Swansea.

With support from the Welsh Government, we are continuing work with local authorities to further develop smokefree policies that will protect young people from the harmful effects of second-hand smoke as well as protecting our beautiful beaches from the blight of litter.

Our beautiful beaches

Wales has some of the best beaches in the UK with many qualifying for Blue Flag status. Banning smoking will have a huge impact on reducing litter; cigarette litter is the number one most littered thing in the world with 4.5 trillion being discarded annually, each of which taking numerous years to degrade. For this reason, our campaign also has the support from the organisation Surfers Against Sewage.

A ban would work on the same basis as the ban on smoking in playgrounds – a voluntary scheme with signage and communications in the local area. We understand that there are different ways in which beaches are managed, some are maintained by National Trust and some fall under local authority control.

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Why smokefree beaches?

Litter and pollution

4.5 trillion cigarette butts are dropped across the world each year. They are made with a form of plastic called cellulose acetate which takes up to 12 years to biodegrade.

Danger to animals

Danger to animals

Cigarette butts are toxic and filled with deposits of tars and chemicals, which leach out into the sea and poison marine wildlife. Birds and small animals swallow butts, resulting in poisoning, malnutrition and even death.

Young people

Children and young people have the right to play and meet their friends in a clean and healthy environment. Smoking at the beach creates the impression that it is a harmless activity but in reality it kills more than 5,000 people a year in Wales. 

Second-hand smoke

Just as toxic outdoors as it is indoors and depends on wind speed, direction and the number and proximity of smokers. 80% of cigarette smoke is invisible and contains over 4000 chemicals, 69 of which are cancer-causing.

Get Involved

Download our Toolkit

If you’re looking to implement smokefree beaches in your area, download our Smokefree Beaches Toolkit below. This informational toolkit is adaptable for all local authorities across Wales as part of this campaign.

Run a beach cleanup

Organising a beach clean up is the best way to determine the extent of the problem on your local beach. We can offer support to help get our beaches and coastline looking beautiful and ready for everyone to enjoy during the busy summer months.

Public Opinion

We know from opinion polls that public support for smokefree spaces in Wales is high. Smokefree beaches are not a new idea.

In many parts of the world they have been successfully implemented with public support: Canada (Vancouver), United States (California, Maine, Massachusetts, and New York), Mexico, Japan, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and Australia. We have good links with public health representatives in other countries who have been actively involved in campaigning for and developing smokefree beaches.

The Future

We believe that Wales can lead the way in the UK on smokefree spaces. With the support and cooperation of local councils we will make a huge difference to the health of young people and the standard of our beaches.

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Who can help me to quit smoking?

Tailored support

Help Me Quit is a new, free NHS service in Wales. They will help you to pick the best way to quit, whether that’s telephone support, one-to-one or group meetings or the local pharmacy. They can also recommend which nicotine replacements, such as patches or gum, are best for you.

Visit: helpmequit.wales

Phone: 0800 085 2219 – Text: HMQ to 80818

Online support

Yes, that’s us! Join us on Facebook to get friendly advice from other quitters as well as daily tips and motivation. We also offer quick, online advice on anything to do with smoking or quitting.