Anti-smoking law 'utterly unnecessary'

Campaigners against new legislation to ban smoking in cars with children have todaydescribed the move as "utterly unnecessary".

The new laws - which have been approved by the Health Minister - are expected to come into force this July and could see passengers and drivers hit with a fine of €3,000 if they are caught smoking in a commercial or private vehicle with children present.

Forest Éireann, a group who represent the views of consumers who choose to smoke, say the ban and fine amounts to bullying.

"Basically, like a lot of other legislation, it's utterly unnecessary to begin with," said spokesperson for the group, John Mallon.

"Naturally, we don't condone people smoking with young children in the car.

"This was quite difficult because there's no purpose to it, it won't change anything, but when they come out and say things like '€3,000 fine if you're caught', in the context of people who have got away with ruining the country financially."

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