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Wales to introduce tobacco and alcohol laws

Measures to reduce smoking and alcohol consumption could be introduced in Wales, despite government backtracking. 

The Welsh government announced separate laws could be created over standardised cigarette packaging and minimum alcohol pricing. 

The measures have already been promised in Scotland

Welsh Health and Social Services Minister Mark Drakeford said he was “very disappointed” that the plans had not been implemented UK-wide. 

He said: “I do not align myself with the anxieties of those who accuse governments of being a nanny state. There are larger public interest issues at stake.

“Neither area is straightforward as far as legal powers are concerned, but the Welsh government continues to explore both as we develop proposals to take forward the public health agenda.” 

British Medical Association (BMA) Welsh secretary Richard Lewis said: “It is vitally important for the long-term future of the population that these public health issues are tackled with whatever means are available. 

"The BMA has consistently supported the need to have standardised cigarette packaging and a minimum alcohol pricing strategy.” 

Healthcare leaders were in uproar earlier this year when a British Medical Journal study showed that standardised cigarette packaging makes people feel less comfortable with smoking, just days after Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt announced that more information was needed to decide whether to implement the strategy.