Welsh Public Health Bill to Restrict E-Cigarette Use
The new Public Health Wales Bill is set to make the country the first part of the UK to ban e-cigarette use in enclosed spaces and workplaces. If it passes through the Welsh Assembly successfully, the new legislation will take effect by the end of next year and could pave the way for extensions of the ban to cover some open areas such as hospital grounds and beaches. The law is likely to prove controversial with users and campaigners who believe e-cigarettes can help conventional smokers quit the habit.
Public Health Minister Mark Drakeford is convinced the bill will have a positive effect.“The Welsh Government has a responsibility to create the conditions which enable people to live healthy lives and avoid preventable harm to their health,” he said. “Wales has a strong tradition of using legislation to improve public health and I am confident the measures in the Public Health Bill will continue this.”
There are an estimated 2.1 million e-cigarette users in the UK. In August 2014 Westminster MPs agreed that there would not be a blanket ban, despite the World Health Organisation stating that consumers should not use e-cigarettes until national regulatory bodies have declared them effective and safe. The Bill also contains provisions for a new compulsory national licensing scheme to be introduced to cover electrolysis, acupuncture, body piercing and tattooing.