February 26, 2009 - In March 2004 Ireland became the first country in the world to impose an outright ban on smoking in workplaces. Now almost five years later TDs and senators have been urged to support a campaign by to ban smoking in cars carrying children. The anti-tobacco group said the workplace smoking ban protected adults but there was no protection for children traveling in cars with smokers. It is holding a briefing for all members of the Oireachtas (The National Parliament (Oireachtas) consists of the President and two Houses: Dáil Éireann (the House of Representatives) and Seanad Éireann (the Senate), whose powers and functions derive from the Constitution of Ireland) in Dublin, Tuesday February 24, 2009 today to seek support for its campaign to ban smoking in cars where under-16-year-olds are present.
Ash Ireland's chairwoman Dr. Angie Brown said many countries had introduced such bans. "The ban is in place in several Australian regions, in parts of Canada and the United States, in Cyprus, and is under consideration in the Netherlands, South Africa and elsewhere. There is irrefutable evidence to show that a car can be 23 times more toxic than a home environment in the context of passive smoke," she said. She said children had much higher respiratory rates and metabolism than adults which made exposure to passive smoke in vehicles a serious health risk. "Children are unlikely to ask adults not to smoke when they are being transported - so we must take this important health initiative out of their hands by introducing legislation to address this issue," she said. Dr. Brown said the ban could be introduced within months if politicians supported it.
Environmentalist and television presenter Duncan Stewart said he would always urge parents not to smoke when driving with children. "However, the Government can make this easier for all of us by just banning the practice of smoking in cars transporting children - and people will comply with this," he said.
Banning smoking when children are in the home or car is a no-brainer - even Philip Morris agrees. - see 1st news brief below.
Reference: Smoking ban sought in cars carrying children by ALISON HEALY, IrishTimes.com, 2/24/2009.
Some related news briefs: Further evidence - STOP smoking in the presence of your children..;ASH Calls for a Debate in England on Banning Smoking in Cars with Kids; Among children with asthma, exposure to ETS is related to increased child behavior problems among boys..; U.S. - Children Remain Especially Vulnerable to Secondhand Smoke..; Maine - illegal to smoke in cars while children present.. and Vehicles Most Dangerous Space for Second-Hand Smoke Levels... For others - do a random search.