Northern Ireland introduces new law banning smoking in cars with children present
New laws which ban smoking in vehicles where children are present have been introduced in Northern Ireland.
It brings the law into line with other regions of the UK and the Republic of Ireland.
Health Minister Robin Swann said: “I am delighted to see that this legislation has now become a reality.
“Its introduction represents a landmark for myself as minister, the department, and for all those who have campaigned so hard for its introduction.
“It will reduce the risk of smoking to our loved ones, particularly children, protecting them from the harm caused by inhaling second-hand smoke.
“It also sends out a clear message of our determination to tackle the dangers of smoking which kills thousands of people each year in Northern Ireland.
“It is important that smokers are aware of the new regulations and realise that if you smoke in a car or other vehicle while a child is there, or if you’re the driver and you allow someone to smoke in these circumstances, you will be committing an offence which carries a hefty penalty.”
Another new law, banning the sale of e-cigarettes and other nicotine-inhaling products to anyone aged under 18, has also come into force.
Mr Swann said: “In addition to the potential long-term health implications of nicotine vaping by teenagers, there are also concerns that the use of such products may act as a gateway into smoking.”
The sale of products such as e-cigarettes or vapes to children, and the purchase of them on behalf of children, can lead to significant penalties and, for repeated offences, retailers can be banned from selling such products for up to three years.
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