Smoking ban extension to outdoor seating areas proposed
Former Health Minister James Reilly believes people spending their “hard-earned money” should be “entitled to enjoy their meal in a smoke free environment”
27 April 2018 | 0
A proposal to extend the smoking ban to areas where food is served outdoors has been brought before the Cabinet.
Fine Gael Senator and former Health Minister James Reilly put the proposal forward in a private members motion.
Minister Reilly said he believes the current legislation should do more to protect people who don’t smoke.
“While our smoking ban was a really progressive move and lauded internationally, unfortunately one of the unintended consequences has been the prevalence of smokers in the outdoor areas of bars, cafés and restaurants,” 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.
The Minister added that he felt people spending their “hard-earned money” should be “entitled to enjoy their meal in a smoke free environment”.
More than 1,000 people voted in a poll conducted by the Irish Independent on this topic. A significant majority, 66% of readers, agreed that the smoking ban should be extended to the outdoor areas that serve food.
However, smokers’ rights group Forest said it believes the ban is going too far.