Posted by Sally O'Brien, on 09/10/2014. Tags: Parenting
New legislation to be implemented in early 2015 will see a fine imposed on those smoking in cars where one or more of the vehicles occupants is under 18 years old.
The legislation, which was first drafted in the Seanad, will be policed by the Gardai who can fine either the driver or passenger sitting in front or back seat who also have children in the car.
If the person resists paying the fine, they could be brought to court with a potential penalty of 1000 euro.
The law, The Protection of Children’s Health (Tobacco Smoke in Mechanically Propelled Vehicles Bill) has been brought in by Minister for Children, James Rielly, who spoke about the dangers of tobacco and children:
“Environmental tobacco smoke is a carcinogen and contains the same cancer causing substances and toxic agents that are inhaled by the smoker. There is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke. In children, exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke is a recognised risk factor for the development of asthmatic symptoms and increased risk of other illnesses such as pneumonia, bronchitis and middle ear infections. Exposure to tobacco smoke is particularly harmful in enclosed spaces, such as cars. Children’s exposure to secondhand smoke in cars is involuntary. They are unable to remove themselves from risk if people smoke around them.”
The law also adds that if the smoker is also under 18 years and is smoking in the presence of a child the driver shall also be guilty of an offence.
If the Gardai believe there is someone smoking with a child present, they will have the power to stop the car, and demand the name and the address of person committing the offence.
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