A BID to throw out a proposed ban on the use of e-cigarettes in schools, hospitals, places where food is served and other public places in Wales has failed.

The Welsh Governments Public Health (Wales) Bill includes provision to restrict ‘vaping’ in a number of public places and was discussed in the Senedd today.

But the proposal has proven controversial among some, with claims it will unfairly penalise those who use e-cigarettes to attempt to stop smoking.

The Welsh Liberal Democrats – who have previously claimed research has shown an extra 22,000 people in England successfully quit smoking in 2014 using e-cigarettes – launched a bid to block the ban.

The group’s leader Kirsty Williams said: “I have not been convinced the measures proposed will improve the health of the people of Wales.”

Conservative AM Darren Millar also hit out at the plans, saying: “There is more evidence of harm from smoke from a piece of burned toast than there is from e-cigarettes.

“If we are not careful the minister (health minister Mark Drakeford) is going to get us onto a slippery slope where we will be seeking to ban air fresheners, the use of deodorant, the use of certain cleaning products and potentially even opening the window by the roadside because of the potential harm to the air quality in an enclosed public space from the fumes from passing vehicles.”

Although opponents of the bill said research showed e-cigarettes helped smokers kick the habit, Mr Drakeford said he was not convinced.

But the bid failed to win the support of AMs, who voted to push the ban through ahead of the final vote on the bill next week.

Plans to extend the ban to playgrounds, school grounds, childcare facilities, sports centres, most shops, zoos, libraries, amusement parks and museums were also given the thumbs-up.

Specialist e-cigarette shops, sex establishments, casinos and gambling shops, pubs and bars which do not serve food, pharmacy consulting rooms, adult hospices and care homes and private homes will be exempt from the ban.

Plans to add a measure in the bill which would mean tattooists could have their licences taken away if they tattoo someone while they are drunk also won the support of AMs, as well as new rules ensuring public toilets are available in places such as footpaths and cycle paths.

To view the full bill visit gov.wales.