Fianna Fáil Senator Mark Daly has welcomed the support of Health Minister James Reilly for legislation brought before the Seanad which would ban smoking in cars when children are present.
The legislation has been brought before the Seanad by Senator Daly and Independent Senators John Crown and Jillian Van Turnhout.
Speaking in the Seanad Senator Daly said: “I thank the Minister for his genuine support for this Bill. I know there will be changes and I, along with Senators Crown and van Turnhout, look forward to working with his Department’s officials to ensure this legislation can be introduced before the summer.
Senator Daly said: “A child in a car with an adult smoking will inhale as much smoke as a fire-fighter will inhale fighting a four to eight hour fire. That statement alone tells us this legislation is right. The fact it was not done previously now strikes us as strange. This is important legislation which has been very well supported by the public in other countries where it has been introduced. In Australia, similar legislation in 2005 had a 90% approval while up to 72% of people surveyed in England support banning smoking in cars while children are present.
“I believe in years to come, we will find it strange that this measure did not happen a long time ago as smoking causes more deaths than suicide, alcohol and cocaine, and children exposed to second-hand smoke are more likely to have cancer in later life.
“Changing people’s attitudes and ensuring children are not exposed to harmful second-hand smoke which they have no control over in this simple law will ensure lives are saved.”