Local DUP MLA Sydney Anderson has welcomed moves to make it illegal to smoke with children in cars.
Mr Anderson said, “I welcome news that the Health Minister has introduced an amendment to the Health (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill which will ban smoking in cars that are carrying children.
“The Health Minister listened and believes that Northern Ireland should follow the example of other parts of the UK where smoking in cars with children present is already illegal.”
Mr Anderson said that by introducing this law will protect children’s health.
“NI Chest, Heart and Stroke conducted an opinion poll last year and the outcome was that 82% of those who took part want the Assembly to introduce a ban on smoking in cars when children are being transported,” he said.
“Ultimately, bringing this ban into law will protect children’s health from the dangerous effects of second hand smoke.”
Sydney Anderson MLA continued, “In an unventilated vehicle passengers can be exposed to over 200 times the recommended safety level of the toxins found in cigarette smoke.
“There also exists strong evidence that the level of toxic chemicals when a person is smoking in a car is still very high even when the windows are opened.
“Making smoking illegal in cars when children are present is also required because the Department of Health has noted that children are particularly vulnerable to the effects of second-hand smoke as they breathe more quickly and inhale more pollutants per pound of body weight than adults do.
“Clearly smoking in cars when children are present is a major health risk that cannot be overlooked. By introducing this ban through legislation the Minister is placing public safety as the top priority just as it should be.
“I hope that this legislation will be introduced into law as soon as possible.”