A REVAMPED version of a bill intended to introduce a number of measures improving the health of people in Wales has been presented to AMs.

The Welsh Government’s Public Health Bill contains measures such as banning smoking in school and hospital grounds and on playgrounds, licensing for tattooists and shops offering body piercing and requiring councils to provide public toilets.

But the new bill does not include the element which made its predecessor so controversial – a proposed ban on using e-cigarettes, or ‘vaping’ in public.

Introducing the bill in the Senedd today, social services and public health minister Rebecca Evans said it “affirms this Welsh Government’s continuing commitment to taking a lead on public health and doing the maximum we can to further improve and protect the health of people in Wales”.

“While a single piece of legislation cannot be a panacea to resolve all public health challenges, it can make a very positive and practical difference,” she said.

“That is what this bill seeks to achieve.

“It takes action in a number of specific areas for the benefit of particular groups within society as well as for communities as a whole.”

The bill, which was voted down in its original form on the very last day of the Assembly before May’s election, also includes plans which would make it an offence to sell tobacco products to under-18s. It's intention is to stop young people from attempting to get around the law by ordering cigarettes online, as well as a prohibition on intimate piercings for under-16s.

But Welsh Conservative shadow health secretary Angela Burns said the bill does not do enough to address obesity, physical fitness or pollution.

“The Welsh Government must in earnest consider these issues if it is to shape a law which lifts the health of its citizens to an acceptable level, standing on an equal footing with the rest of the UK,” she said.

Newport West AM John Griffiths said he agreed with the importance of physical fitness and pollution but welcomed the move to ban smoking in some public spaces.

“I think we’ve made considerable progress in making smoking less socially acceptable,” he added.

“Smoking rates have come down, and that’s been a huge benefit to health in Wales.

“You allow in your statement for the possibility of further areas of restriction to be developed.

“One that I know has quite a lot of popular support in my experience is restricting smoking so that it’s not possible in outdoor restaurant and cafe areas where there’s seating and tables.

“I think people think that that’s particularly important in the summer, where some people see it as a choice between either not enjoying the fine weather or breathing in second-hand smoke, which for some people is particularly problematic given their health conditions.”

To view the draft bill visit gov.wales.