Public Health (Wales) Bill


A proposed law that could affect things like tattoos and piercings, local pharmacies and public toilets, and the treatment of e-cigarettes in Wales, has been considered by a National Assembly for Wales committee.

The Health and Social Care Committee looked at the potential implications of the Welsh Government’s Public Health (Wales) Bill and whether or not it would meet the objectives it sets out to achieve.

The survey – what did you say?

We asked young people across Wales to give their views in a survey.


  • 37.11% of 11-17 year olds strongly agree that e-cigarettes should be banned in indoor spaces like restaurants, pubs and at work
  • 47.69% of 18 year olds and over strongly disagree that e-cigarettes should be banned in indoor spaces like restaurants, pubs and at work
  • 48.45% 11-17 year olds think that the use of e-cigarettes in smoke-free areas promotes or ‘normalises’ the appearance of smoking tobacco
  • More than a quarter of those young people surveyed had tried e-cigarettes, noting that their main reason for doing so was to gain a “new experience”

Some additional comments received:

  • “E-cigarettes are a gateway out of smoking tobacco”
  • “E-cigarettes are a gateway to smoking tobacco products”
  • “Cannot compare tobacco products to e-cigarettes”
  • “The marketing of flavours/colours appeal to young people as opposed to using vaping itself”

Body piercing

  • 73.2% of 11-17 year olds and 82.12% of 18 year olds and over believe an age restriction is needed for intimate body piercing e.g. nipples and genitals.

You can find out more about what people had to say below:

Summary of the responses to the Public Health (Wales) Bill survey (PDF, 415 KB)

The report – what did the Committee say?

  • On proposals such as a licensing scheme for tattoo, piercing, acupuncture and electrolysis businesses, and a ban on intimate piercings for under 16s, the Committee is in agreement with the Bill’s proposals.
  • Other aspects of the Bill, including changing the way pharmaceutical services are planned to meet the needs of local communities, and requiring local authorities to provide adequate access to public toilets, were also broadly welcomed.
  • Evidence on the proposals to restrict the use of e-cigarettes in enclosed and substantially enclosed public spaces was more complex, and the Committee was unable to reach an agreement on this issue.

You can view the full report below:

Public Health (Wales) Bill: Committee Stage 1 Report (PDF, 1.2MB)

Plenary debate

A debate on the Bill was held in the Senedd on Tuesday 8th December 2015. When Assembly Members debate they suggest changes to improve a piece of draft law. The Assembly will now need to vote to agree these changes. View a video of the debate below:

During Plenary on Wednesday 16 March the Public Health Bill was narrowly defeated in the Senedd: 26 in favour, 27 against. The motion to approve the Bill was not agreed by the Assembly. This Bill was therefore rejected and will not become an Act.

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