E-cigarettes could face restrictions for public use following Welsh Assembly vote

E-cigarettes may be banned in public places where children are present in a landmark public health by the Welsh Assembly.

The Labour-controlled government in Cardiff Bay is hoping to pass its Public Health (Wales) Bill in the Senedd on Wednesday.

Originally, the Welsh Government wanted to ban e-cigarettes from all enclosed public and work places.

However, its proposals were watered down to places to where children were present after a committee report split Assembly Members' opinions.

If passed, the Bill would become a UK first and would restrict the use of nicotine inhaling devices in certain public places, including:

  • Schools

  • Public transport

  • Places where food is served

But the move has been criticised by opposition parties and even divided opinion among health charities.

However, Health Minister Mark Drakeford insists the legislation will protect people from harm - and the curbs on e-cigarettes would make smoking less appealing to youngsters.

He said:

Referring to the Bill's original form, Cancer Research UK said there was not "enough evidence to justify an indoor ban on e-cigarettes".

And in its evidence to an Assembly committee, The British Heart Foundation said: "It is heavy handed to regulate them as if they were cigarettes."

However, the British Medical Association Wales said it was in favour - arguing it is better to be safe than to be sorry.