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If you smoke in a car that has a child in it, you will be fined €100

The law comes into effect on 1 January.

Image: Shutterstock/photomak

PEOPLE WHO SMOKE in cars where there are children present will be fined €100 from 1 January.

The move was today announced by Health Minister Leo Varadkar and Children’s Minister James Reilly.

Those who do not pay the fine will then be dealt with by the courts.

The law, which was passed last year, defines a child as anyone under 18, but drivers can receive a reprieve if they can prove they could not stop the person from smoking.

Those who do not pay the fine could end up paying €1,000.

Speaking today at Government Buildings, Reilly said that the move would protect children. He added that the suggestion that the government would take steps to stop people smoking on the street was “a different matter”.

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He denied that the move was a “nanny state” initiative.

Ash Ireland, an anti-smoking lobby group, said they had been pursuing the law for eight years.

Forest Ireland, a smokers’ lobbying group supported by three of the world’s largest tobacco companies, says the law is “gesture politics”.

“Most smokers know smoking in a car with children is inconsiderate. That’s why the overwhelming majority don’t do it.
The new law is a waste of time and unenforceable. It will make no difference to public health but it represents a worrying intrusion by government into people’s private space.

A study from the University of California last year found that nonsmokers sitting in an automobile with a smoker for one hour had markers of significantly increased levels of carcinogens and other toxins in their urine.

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