Legislation approved to ban smoking in cars with children present

Smoking in cars, where children are present, will become illegal this summer.

Radical legislation banning smoking in vehicles carrying children has been approved by the Health Minister James Reilly.

Under the draft legislation, to be completed by the end of this month, passengers as well as drivers face fines of €3,000 if they smoke in a commercial or private vehicle where children are present.

It is expected this new law will come into force this July.

A stumbling block for the planned legislation was the issue of how gardaí would enforce it, how would you prove the age of the child, as well as the rights of a driver.

But it is understood, under the new legislation gardaí will be allowed rely solely on visual evidence if cases come before the courts.

The Irish Cancer Society has welcomed plans for the extended smoking ban and said it must be backed by an awareness campaign.

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