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New legislation will improve health and well-being in Wales

This press release was published under the 2011 - 2016 Welsh government

Ground-breaking public health legislation will help protect people from harm and create the conditions to help people live healthier lives, Health and Social Services Minister Mark Drakeford said today.
Wednesday 16 March 2016
New legislation will improve health and well-being in Wales
New legislation will improve health and well-being in Wales

The final vote on the Public Health (Wales) Bill will take place today.

If passed, the Bill will restrict the use of nicotine inhaling devices, including e-cigarettes, in certain public places where children and young people are present.

It will make getting a tattoo or piercing safer as practitioners and premises must be licensed; it will make pharmacies more responsive to local needs and improve local authority planning of public toilets across Wales.

The Bill will also introduce new outdoor smoke-free places.  

Professor Drakeford said:

“The Bill will help us to respond to a range of public health threats in Wales, including the risk of re-normalising smoking for a generation of children and young people who have grown up in largely smoke-free environments.  

“The Bill does not prevent the use of e-cigarettes to help people stop smoking if they believe they will help them. Wherever you can smoke a cigarette, you will be able to use an e-cigarette.”

If passed, the legislation will:

  • Create a compulsory, national licensing system for acupuncture, body piercing, electrolysis and tattooing
  • Prohibit the intimate piercing, including tongue piercing  of children under 16 in Wales
  • Require local authorities to prepare and publish a local toilets strategy, which includes an assessment of the need for toilets for public use and details of how that need will be met
  • Restrict the smoking of conventional tobacco products and the use of nicotine inhaling devices in public playgrounds, school grounds and hospital grounds
  • Restrict the use of nicotine inhaling devices in certain public places where children are likely to be present, including schools, places that serve food, entertainment venues and shopping centres
  • Make changes to the way pharmaceutical services are planned by health boards, moving from a system which is focused solely on dispensing prescriptions, to one which responds to the needs of local communities
  • Introduce health impact assessments for certain decisions and policies. These will evaluate the likely effect of proposed actions on people’s short and long-term physical and mental health.

Professor Drakeford added

“It is the government’s responsibility to create the conditions, which enable people to live healthy lives. This Bill strikes a balance between those actions which will make a big difference to people’s health without intruding unduly on the rights of individuals to run their own lives.”



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Health and social services 16 March 2016 Legislation Legislative programme Programme for Government - Healthcare Mid Wales North Wales South East Wales South West Wales

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