Fine Gael TD for Dublin South Central, and member of the Oireachtas Health Committee, Catherine Byrne, has welcomed new legislation banning smoking in cars where children are present.
“The new law banning people from smoking in cars where children are present will come into force on the 1st of January. This will really help to protect children from second hand smoke.
“It was simply unforgiveable that people would smoke in their cars while children were present. In such an enclosed space, children are subject to high levels of second hand smoke and all the associated health risks that come with it. Children are actually more susceptible to second hand smoke than adults are.
“I’m sure some people genuinely thought that by opening the car windows, their children would not have felt the effects of the smoke. However this is not actually the case. The new laws will ensure that children traveling in cars are fully protected by removing any right to smoke in their presence.
“The new offence created by this legislation will be enforced by the Gardaí and carries a fixed penalty of €100 with the option of tougher penalties of up to €1,000 for failing to stop or providing inaccurate details.
“I commend the Minister for Health, Leo Varadkar for implementing this legislation as well as the Minister for Children, James Reilly, who has spearheaded this initiative from the start. Both Ministers are committed to the Government’s Tobacco Free Ireland policy, which aims to have Ireland tobacco free by 2025.”