A new law in the Republic of Ireland banning smoking in cars where children are present will be enforced in the coming weeks.
Health Minster James Reilly announced the news on the tenth anniversary of the smoking ban in the ROI at a conference at the Royal College of Physicians (RCPI).
Minister Reilly said the move was about “protecting children until they are old enough to make the decision for themselves.”
He said that while there were major unforeseen difficulties in preparing the legislation, it should come into action very shortly.
The RCPI called for the measure to be introduced to “prevent serious health problems for the next generation”.
Research shows children exposed to second hand smoke in cars or the home can “suffer from tobacco related illnesses for up to 25 years later,” Dr Pat Doorley chair of the RCPI’s tobacco policy group said.
The college also called for all publicly funded institutions, schools and childcare facilities to become completely tobacco free.