PEOPLE in North Wales are being reminded that all hospital grounds will become smoke-free areas from Monday.

New laws, being introduced across Wales on March 1, build on the smoking ban introduced in 2007 and will protect more people from harmful second-hand smoke and help those trying to quit.

The new law means that all parts of the hospital grounds will be smoke-free. Anyone found breaking the law by smoking in the hospital grounds could face a £100 fine.

Richard Firth, Consultant in Public Health, said: “This is great news for the people of North Wales and an important step forward in terms of protecting patients, visitors and staff in our hospital grounds.

“By making our hospitals completely smoke-free we can provide a safer and healthier environment where people are not exposed to second-hand smoke.

“We also hope this will encourage more people to stop smoking and we will make sure people can access NHS services to support them to do that.”

The new laws will also cover spaces where children and young people spend their time – such as school grounds and public playgrounds, as well as the outdoor areas of children’s day care and childminding settings.

Those looking to quit smoking are encouraged to access the free NHS Wales support service, Help Me Quit, on 0800 085 2219 or www.helpmequit.walesfor help and support, including access to free stop smoking medication.