The national effort to stamp out smoking in public spaces is clamping down on Wales and smokers are being urged to take advantage of the public smoking ban, after it sweeps into pubs across the country on April 2nd, by swapping cigarettes for exercise.

0270-0701-1113-0945_SM originalThe Sports Council for Wales - in support of the Welsh Assembly Government’s Climbing Higher Strategy - is calling on smokers to adopt a healthier, more active lifestyle - even if they are not intending to stub out the habit for good.

The ban will revolutionize the very face of Wales public indoor spaces, transforming them into healthier, smoke-free zones as the last cigarettes are stubbed out in nightclubs, restaurants, and pub ash-trays from Angelsey to Monmouthshire.

Exercise offers an effective coping mechanism to help tackle the frustrating consequences of dimming the lighters when it comes to venturing out of the house. By doing just 30 minutes physical activity at a moderate level five times a week, smokers can use the ban to make a personal pledge to quit and get fit.

Chairman of the Sports Council for Wales, Philip Carling, said:

"The message that ‘smoking is bad for you’ is so old now that people have stopped giving it their full attention. Instead I would urge adults to consider that physical activity has profound benefits and can only enhance your wellbeing, regardless of whether you smoke.

"The pub smoking ban offers a perfect opportunity for smokers to adopt a healthier more active lifestyle. If, like many smokers throughout Wales, you’re dreading its onset, now is the time to start putting the benefits of physical activity into practice. It has been proven that exercise is one of the best ways to help smokers kick the habit, and by stopping you are benefiting the health of the nation."

Research shows that smoking kills around 114,000 people in the UK each year owing to smoking related cancers, cardiovascular and lung disease, or high blood pressure leading to heart attacks and stroke. Exercise reduces the risk of coronary heart disease and stroke, lowers the chance of lung cancer, boosts circulation and helps maintain a healthy blood pressure.

Exercise is an essential tool in your successful quitting kit, and you don’t have to spend money buying it from the supermarket shelf. Physical activity is an effective coping mechanism, providing fun, focus and fitness which are more likely to help you stub out the habit for good, not just for two weeks!