The Welsh Government is planning to create an exemption in the Smoking Ban for the Film and TV industry so that actors can smoke real cigarettes whilst filming scenes where it’s necessary for the ‘artistic integrity’ of the piece.
This undermines the whole smoking ban in Wales, if we make an exemption for one industry what's to stop others demanding the same treatment?
Smoking kills nearly 6000 people a year in Wales and the Smoking Ban was passed to protect the health of all workers in Wales. Film crew and production staff should not be exempt from this protection. Actors don't need to smoke on set, CGI, props and Visual effects have already been used to great effect in Doctor Who and Upstairs Downstairs filming.
Showing smoking on TV glamorises it. If we want to discourage children and young people from trying smoking we need to reduce the number of people smoking on our screens.
If we weaken the smoking ban by creating these kind of exemptions and loop holes we undermine Wales’ position as a country that puts people before industry profits and leads the way on tobacco issues.