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Public Health (Wales) Bill

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The Bill was introduced into the National Assembly on 7 November 2016.

Why we need the Bill

Whilst health is improving, Wales still faces a number of specific and significant health challenges. These range from challenges such as an ageing population, high levels of chronic disease and differences in the health of people in different areas and from different groups, to lifestyle choices and other developments within society. 

Legislation can be one of the most powerful tools available to governments in responding to public health challenges, both old and new. The Bill looks to build on Wales’ strong tradition of using legislation as a way to improve and protect the health of the population.

What the Bill aims to do

The Bill brings together a range of practical actions for improving and protecting health. It focuses on shaping social conditions that are conducive to good health, and where avoidable health harms can be prevented.

If passed, the Bill will:

  • restrict smoking in school grounds, hospital grounds and public playgrounds
  • create a national register of retailers of tobacco and nicotine products
  • prohibit handing over tobacco and/or nicotine products to a person under the age of 18
  • create a licensing scheme for special procedures: acupuncture, body piercing, electrolysis and tattooing
  • prohibit intimate piercing of under 16s
  • require public bodies to carry out health impact assessments in specified circumstances
  • change the pharmaceutical list of health boards to a system based on the needs of local communities
  • require local authorities to prepare a local strategy for toilet facilities for public use
  • enable food authorities to retain fixed penalty notice receipts resulting from offences under the Food Hygiene Rating (Wales) Act 2013, for use in enforcing the food hygiene rating scheme.  
For more information and to view the Bill, please see the National Assembly for Wales website (external link).