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Dublin: 18 °C Thursday 6 August, 2020

Oireachtas committee to vote on banning smoking at Leinster House

The inside of the complex is already subject to a smoking ban – but John Crown wants to ban all smoking outside it too.

Image: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

MEMBERS OF an Oireachtas committee will vote this morning on whether all smoking should be banned at the Leinster House complex.

The Joint Committee on Health and Children will vote on a motion put forward by Senator John Crown, a consultant oncologist.

Crown believes the Oireachtas should lead by example in banning all smoking on the Leinster House campus.

While the inside of the building is already covered under the terms of the 2004 smoking ban, which bans smoking in all indoor workplaces, but tobacco consumption is still permitted in four designated areas outside the various buildings in the Leinster House complex.

Crown’s motion would encourage the Houses of the Oireachtas Commission to ban smoking on the campus entirely.

The senator has previously spoken on his desire to ban all tobacco trade, and has called for government to commit to the eradication of all tobacco trading by 2030, as it would cut down on government health spending.

The motion has not met with universal approval, however: independent TD Finian McGrath, who is one of 30-or-so smokers in the Dáil, has described the proposal as “a total intrusion on people’s civil liberties”.

“I definitely will not support any nanny state proposals from Senator Crown,” he said last week.

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There are 15 TDs and six senators who are entitled to vote when Crown’s motion is discussed this morning, with 11 of the 21 members subject to the whips of government parties.

A vote on the motion is expected shortly after the meeting begins at 9:30am this morning.

Read: Proposals to make Leinster House a smoke-free campus

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Gavan Reilly

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