The Royal College of Physicians of Ireland (RCPI) has called for a complete smoking ban in cars wherever children are present
The RCPI Policy Group on Tobacco also calls for all publicly funded institutions, particularly hospitals and academic campuses, to be completely smoke free
The Royal College of Physicians of Ireland is Ireland's largest post-graduate training body for doctors. Its Policy Group on Tobacco is calling on the Government to continue to adopt strong policy measures to reduce the harm caused by smoking.
Dr Pat Doorley, Chair of the Tobacco Policy Group says that while Ireland has made great strides in saving lives and reducing the harm caused by men, women and children as a result of tobacco, further strong policy measures are now needed to achieve a Tobacco Free Ireland.
“Tobacco is a lethal and addictive drug that is the most deadly consumer product ever to be marketed to consumers. It directly causes serious and fatal cardiovascular and respiratory disease as well as lung cancer and other cancers. One in every two smokers will die of a tobacco related disease and we know that smoking affects every organ in the body.
“Today we are calling for smoking in cars where children are present to be completely banned to prevent serious health problems for the next generation. We know that children of smokers exposed to second hand smoke are at risk of the same health problems as those smoking themselves. Indeed research shows that children exposed to second hand in cars, in the home and in other areas can suffer from tobacco related illnesses for up to 25 years later” Dr Doorley said.
“There are precedents for legislation to influence behavior while driving, most notably laws requiring the wearing of seatbelts and the use of child car seats, as well as the ban on mobile phone use while driving. Ireland should follow the example of other jurisdictions such as California and parts of Canada and Australia, where smoking in cars where children are present has been banned” he said.
The RCPI Policy Group on Tobacco is also calling for a complete smoking ban throughout all publicly funded institutions, particularly hospitals and academic campuses. “We support the Government’s plan as outlined in Tobacco Free Ireland, to enact new legislation requiring all schools and child care facilities to be tobacco free” Dr Doorley said.