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Dublin: 4 °C Monday 24 February, 2020
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TD backs calls for smoking ban in children's playgrounds

Fine Gael’s Derek Keating said children should be protected from adults’ “irresponsible” behaviour.

Image: Fried Dough via Flickr

A GOVERNMENT TD is calling on authorities in his area to ban smoking around children’s playgrounds.

Derek Keating, a Fine Gael TD for Dublin Mid West, said playgrounds should be smoke-free areas where children are protected from the “irresponsible” behaviour of adults.

His suggestion follows similar statements from health minister James Reilly, and Dublin city councillor Steve Wrenn. Smokers’ rights group Forest Éireann has rejected the suggested measures, saying they are tantamount to an encroachment on civil liberties.

Keating suggested that the ban could extend to a number of outdoor spaces including sporting facilities and more general recreational areas.

The seriousness of second hand smoke exposure for children is a major problem and should be of concern to everyone. This issue has been discussed widely in the media and in Leinster House; it is now time to take action.

Keating urged South Dublin City Council to introduce bye-laws similar to those introduced in Fingal. Earlier this year, Fingal councillors agreed a motion that all council playgrounds should become no-smoking areas.

Smoking was a double risk to children, Keating said, because as well as any direct health effects there was also the possibility that young people would be encouraged to take up smoking in later life.

It is a proven fact that smokers’ children are more likely to smoke and as a former smoker I know the difficulties associated with the addiction and also know the benefits of giving it up.

More: Dublin councillor to ask for smoking ban in playgrounds>

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Michael Freeman

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