ASH Ireland, the anti-smoking campaign group welcomed reports recently that there is going to be a ban on smoking in cars with children present, which could be introduced sometime later this year. The legislation draft was approved by James Reilly, the health minister and will ensure that both drivers and passengers could face huge fines if they are found to be smoking in a commercial place, or in a private vehicle which is carrying children under the age of 16.
The smoking in cars issue was originally raised in 2005
ASH Ireland had originally raised the issue as a health initiative in 2005 with Minister Harney. In April of 2010 the newly appointed Minister James Reilly met with ASH Ireland and once again they pushed for the initiative to be brought in. They then received commitment from James Reilly that he would proceed with the initiative as soon as it was achievable.
The Minister is expected to ensure that no further delays stop the initiative from moving forward, as the proposal has been within the Department he works for, for more then seven years. It is thought that the brand new legislation could be enforced as early as July of this year.
Nevertheless the plans have been criticised as out of balance, excessive and narrow minded and has also been accused of distracting people from many more pressing issues that are facing the UK, by the smokers’ group Forest Eireann (Voice of the smoker in Ireland). Although the organisation have exclaimed that it does not condone adults who decide to smoke in a vehicle that is carrying children, it is better to educate than legislate. It has been criticised as for most people their car is their private area and the legislation is said to be worryingly illiberal. John Mallon, a spokesman for the organisation exclaimed. “What’s next? A ban on smoking in the home if children are present?”
The smoking in cars with children ban may appear harsh, but is it the right way to go?
Although this legislation may be thought of as harsh and a bit unnecessary, it is a fact of life that people around Britain are smoking in cars carrying children, with all windows shut. This is a health hazard after all and if the action is actually illegal, then there are going to be far less people smoking in cars with children, which is the main thing after all.