Is smoking in parks and beaches about to be banned in Ireland?
According to reports Minister for Health James Reilly wants to ban smoking in parks and beaches.
Eight years on from the workplace smoking ban came into force, it looks like the lives of smokers are going to get even more difficult. We are now all used to smokers lurking outside of pubs and offices as smoking indoors has been effectively banned in Ireland, a move that is widely suppoorted, even by our nicotine loving fellow citizens.
But now moves are afoot to make some public open air spaces subject to the smoking ban too. Last week it was suggested that children’s playgrounds could be subject to a smoking ban, so as to better protect children.
But now, according to reports in the Irish Examiner, Minister Reilly now wants to go further to protect kids.
“We don’t want children to see adults smoking in public areas. Areas where we would expect lots of children to be present, as in our public parks and on our beaches, should be smoke-free zones, and I will be putting a memo to Government to that effect."
New York has a similar set of rules and now we could well have the same. They have weather that sees a lot more traffic in their parks and beaches over there but the Minister is still determined to drive smoking further away from normal behaviour.
“This is a duty of care we have to our citizens and that duty is all the greater to citizens who don’t have a voice — our children," he said.
Despite the fairly miserable conditions that smokers have to operate in these days, 29 per cent of people still smoke in Ireland. After these restrictions were introduced in New York, their rate of smoking fell further so the Minister will be hoping these do the same.
The matter will be discussed at Cabinet but the Minster believes that local authorities can introduce the rules to outlaw smoking in parks and beaches, so this new ban may be in very quickly indeed.