Saturday 24 February 2018

War on tobacco worthy, but must not be rushed

IT was not so long ago that secondary school children were allowed to smoke in many of the more "advanced" schools around the country. Staff rooms were also often full of teachers puffing on pipes and cigarettes as pupils regularly entered and left.

Today, the idea of a 17-year-old taking a puff between classes seems as strange as quill pens or the regular floggings that were a feature of the Irish educational system for far too long. The world changes, and smokers have had to endure more change than most as their habit has moved from socially acceptable to pariah status.

The Government's latest plans to outlaw smoking anywhere in secondary school grounds and near creche facilities is another step in a long-term strategy to "de-normalise" smoking and ensure that fewer than one person in 20 smokes by 2025.

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