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24th Apr 2018

It could soon be illegal to smoke in some smoking areas

Jade Hayden

It could soon be illegal to smoke in some smoking areas.

Minister for Health Simon Harris is trying to introduce a ban on lighting up in outdoor areas where food is served.

The ban was previously supported by Fine Gael senators as well as those who introduced Ireland’s smoking ban in 2004.

The Irish Times reports that former Minister for Health James Reilly argued that people should be able to enjoy an outdoor meal “in a smoke-free environment.”

He said:

“This means that nobody can enjoy a meal outdoors on a sunny day in this country, without having to inhale other people’s smoke.

“Anyone spending their hard-earned money in a restaurant or café should be entitled to enjoy their meal in a smoke-free environment.”

The smoking ban was first introduced in 2004.

Ireland was the first country in the world to enforce a ban on smoking in the workplace. Before this, it was already illegal to smoke in hospitals, schools, and other public buildings.

Minister Harris previously stated that the smoking ban had been a success and that he had no plans to relax the laws.

He also said that it is his aim to make Ireland tobacco-free by 2025.

Harris will be seeking Cabinet approval later today on the issue.