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Dublin: 4 °C Tuesday 19 November, 2019

Senators pass law banning smoking in cars with children - and the government's backing it

The bill now moves to the Dáil where it will have government support.

Image: Press Association

THE SEANAD HAS today passed a law that will ban smoking in cars that children are travelling in.

The legislation cleared its final stages in the upper house earlier today and will now go to the Dáil where the government has indicated it will support the bill.

The progress of the bill has been delayed for some two years since the government indicated it would support the initiative brought forward by senators John Crown, Jillian van Turnhout and Mark Daly.

The Protection of Children’s Health from Tobacco Smoke Bill 2012 provides for the smoking ban in workplaces to be extended to any car that is carrying people under 18 with the offence carrying a fine of up to €1,000.

Health Minister James Reilly has pledged to support the legislation on its passage through the Dáil and has insisted it will not create extra work for the gardaí as it will be “self-policing”.

“I think that anyone seeing an adult smoking in a car with a child will take immediate offence and will make it very clear to the individuals concerned that they’re breaking the law and harming the child,” he said.

Senator Crown, who is also a consultant oncologist, has said that the bill should be passed by the Dáil as soon as possible:

The smokers group Forest Eireann opposes the bill saying it will be difficult to enforce and is an “unnecessary and heavy-handed response to what in reality is a very small problem”.

2012: Ban smoking in cars with children present, say senators

Column: Smoking ban in public places ‘a departure from tolerance and democracy’

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About the author:

Hugh O'Connell

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