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Wales may allow smoking on film and TV sets

Tue 7th February, 2012

The Welsh Government may relax the smoking ban in Wales to allow actors to smoke on film and television sets.

The exemption would only apply where the “artistic integrity” of the performance depends on a character smoking.

The Welsh Government launched a six-week consultation on amending the smoking ban on Friday.

The government is suggesting allowing smoking in television programmes and films, made in Wales, which charities claim will “normalise” the habit.

The consultation document implies Wales’ growing film and television industry needs the exemption in order to compete with England, where performers are exempt from the smoking ban.

It states: “With the opening of the new [BBC] Roath Lock Studios, it is hoped more programme making will come to Wales. The exemption for performers ... would make Wales a more attractive place for programme making and would remove current costs involved with taking smoking scenes on productions being filmed in Wales to England.

“The smoking ban has been a major issue for a number of productions that have been filmed in Wales, especially period dramas set in a time when smoking was commonplace.

“The creation of an exemption for performers could therefore benefit the Welsh economy by possibly bringing more productions to Wales.”

The consultation has angered organisations, which campaigned for and supported the 2007 smoking ban.

Source: Wales Online (7 February 2012)

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