Posted: Tue 8th Mar 2016

Public Health Bill will improve health of people in Wales

This article is old - Published: Tuesday, Mar 8th, 2016

The Bill will help to keep pace with emerging public health concerns, including proposals to license tattooing and body piercing and to restrict the use of e-cigarettes in certain premises where children and young people are present. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Professor Drakeford said: ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

”Wales has a strong tradition of using legislation to improve public health and I am confident the measures in the Public Health (Wales) Bill will continue this. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“The Bill aims to keep pace with a range of emerging public health concerns while also helping to improve public health in Wales. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“Our approach to e-cigarettes will ensure they cannot be used in those enclosed public places where the children and young people are present, reducing the risk of renormalising smoking for a generation which has grown up in a largely smoke-free environment.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The latest amendments to the Bill will be debated during the stage three proceedings today, before the final Bill is voted on at stage four. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

A series of Welsh Government amendments were agreed at stage two to restrict the use of e-cigarettes and other nicotine inhaling devices in certain enclosed public places. These are schools and other education establishments; places where food is served; premises which provide childcare; public and school transport vehicles and public transport hubs. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Further Welsh Government amendments at stage three will broaden this list to include: ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

  • Shops (except specialist tobacconists)
  • Healthcare premises including GP surgeries and hospital car parks
  • Entertainment venues, including theatres; cinemas; amusement parks and zoos; museums
  • Soft play centres and petting farms
  • Public libraries and the National Library of Wales
  • Sports grounds and centres
  • Youth detention accommodation
  • Non-enclosed areas of public playgrounds, school grounds and hospital grounds.

The Welsh Government has also proposed that specific premises should be exempt from the e-cigarette restrictions. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

These are: ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

  • Specialist retailers of e-cigarettes
  • Premises used as a dwelling (except if and when used for childcare)
  • Pubs and bars that do not serve food
  • Sex establishments
  • Gambling premises
  • Pharmacy consulting rooms
  • Adult hospices and adult care homes.

Other Welsh Government amendments to be debated at stage three include proposals which will require public bodies in Wales to assess the health impact of certain decisions and policies. These health impact assessments will evaluate the likely effect of proposed actions on people’s physical and mental health, both in the short and long term. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The Bill also includes proposals for local authorities to prepare and publish a local toilets strategy; to include an assessment of the need for toilets for public use and details of how that need will be met. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

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