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Proposed e-cigarette ban in public places is extended by government

The proposed law to ban e-cigarettes in public places in Wales has been extended to more areas where children could be, after a debate by the Welsh Assembly government yesterday.

The ban on e-cigarettes has been extended to zoos, cinemas, school grounds, hospital car parks, public playgrounds, sports grounds, swimming pools, theatres, libraries and other public places.

Yesterday, assembly members (AMs) voted 39 in favour and 17 against the changes meaning an extended list of places where e-cigarettes are banned will be added to the Bill. The proposed law will be discussed in the Senedd next week, where ministers will decide whether it becomes a law.

The Bill aims to avoid the re-normalisation of smoking and stop e-cigarettes acting as a gateway to tobacco, with particular concern for children and young people.

Mark Drakeford, the Welsh health and social services minister, said yesterday: “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.”

However, the Welsh Liberal Democrats have criticised the current Labour government's plans, arguing that it will be detrimental for people trying to quit smoking with electronic cigarettes.

Moreover, Conservative AM Darren Millar argued that if this Bill was passed it would be a “slippery slope” to bans on air fresheners, deodorants and other things that can pollute the air.

View the full bill here