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Call for smoke ban outside all public buildings

IT has been a decade since the smoking ban was introduced, and the initiative has proved so successful that doctors are calling for it to be extended across all publicly funded institutions.

Health Minister James Reilly has also said that new legislation making it illegal for adults to smoke in cars where children are passengers will be ready soon.

The Royal College of Physicians in Ireland (RCPI) wants all publicly funded institutions to be completely smoke-free, especially hospitals and college campuses.


The zero-tolerance rule would outlaw smoking entirely from each campus, according to a document by the policy group on tobacco at the RCPI.

The proportion of the population who smoked was around 28pc at the time of the 2004 ban and it is now down to 21pc, according to some estimates.

The Irish Heart Foundation pointed to research suggesting that the rate of heart attacks has fallen by 10pc since the ban.

The RCPI also backs calls for a ban on smoking in cars where children are passengers.

Dr Pat Doorley of the policy group said that while Ireland has made strides in reducing the harm caused by tobacco, further measures are needed.

"We are calling for smoking in cars where children are present to be completely banned," he said. Research shows that children exposed to second-hand smoke in cars, in the home and in other areas can suffer from tobacco-related illnesses for up to 25 years later.

Speaking at a conference marking 10 years of the smoking ban, the health minister said: "Nobody has the right to injure their child. This is not about being a nanny state, it is about protecting children until they are old enough to make these decisions for themselves."

Smokers' group Forest Eireann has rejected the plans, saying the idea to ban smoking in cars with children is "heavy-handed" and "patronising".