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Home > Dail Eireann debate. Protection of Children's Health (Tobacco Smoke in Mechanically Propelled Vehicles) Bill 2012: Second stage.

[Oireachtas] Dail Eireann debate. Protection of Children's Health (Tobacco Smoke in Mechanically Propelled Vehicles) Bill 2012: Second stage. (08 Oct 2014)

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Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy James Reilly): I move: "That the Bill be now read a Second Time." 

I am pleased to be here today to introduce this important Bill to the House. Protecting children from harmful tobacco products has long been a priority for me, both as Minister for Health and in my current role as Minister for Children and Youth Affairs. I supported this legislation when it was introduced as a Private Members' Bill, developed and introduced by Senators Crown, van Turnhout and Daly. In June 2012, I received Government approval for the principle of prohibiting smoking in cars with children present and for the drafting of amendments to the Private Members' Bill. The Department of Health worked in consultation with the Senators, the Attorney General's Office, the Department of Justice and Equality, the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport, and the Garda Síochána on amendments to the legislation. All of the amendments were accepted during Report Stage of the Private Members' Bill in the Seanad on 17 April and this included changing the Bill's name to the Protection of Children's Health (Tobacco Smoke in Mechanically Propelled Vehicles) Bill. 

The clock says I have ten minutes and 43 seconds left. That is not correct, I have 20 minutes - though I may not use that full period. 

Acting Chairman (Deputy Seán Kenny): The Minister has 20 minutes. 

Deputy James Reilly: The purpose of the Bill is to prohibit smoking in cars where children are present and it will be enforced by the Garda Síochána. Environmental tobacco smoke is a carcinogen and contains the same cancer causing substances and toxic agents that are inhaled by the smoker. There is no safe level of exposure to second-hand smoke. In children, exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke is a recognised risk factor for the development of asthmatic symptoms and increased risk of other illnesses such as pneumonia, bronchitis and middle ear infections. Exposure to tobacco smoke is particularly harmful in enclosed spaces, such as cars. Children's exposure to second hand smoke in cars is involuntary - they are unable to remove themselves from risk if people smoke around them. This Bill is very significant, therefore, in protecting children. I commend Senators Crown, van Turnhout and Daly for originally bringing this Bill forward. 

I will now take the Deputies through the Bill section by section to clarify its provisions. Section 1 deals with the interpretation of some of the terms used for the purposes of the Bill. For example, a child is defined as any person under 18 years of age. The terms "mechanically propelled vehicle" and "public place" have the same meanings as laid out in the Road Traffic Act 1961. 

Section 2 sets out the prohibition on smoking tobacco products in mechanically propelled vehicles in which a child is present……….

[For the full debate, click on this link]

Item Type
Dail Debates
Publication Type
Drug Type
Tobacco / Nicotine
Intervention Type
8 October 2014
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