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Ireland bans smoking in cars with children under age 18 inside (Ireland TV)

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According to Ireland TV, as of January 1, 2016 smoking in a vehicle in the presence of a child under 18 is now prohibited, after the Health Minister Leo Varadkar signed the regulations into law under the Protection of Children’s Health Act.

A recent study found nearly one in five children between the ages of 10 and 17 are exposed to second-hand smoke.  11-year-old Fionn O’Callaghan shared the credit with government ministers for this latest initiative.  The youngster from Wexford enlisted his granny’s help to write to Enda Kenny, calling for the ban.

Though the law had been passed by the Dáil in December 2014, the regulations governing fixed penalty notices and the size of possible fines caused a delay in the laws coming into effect.

The offense will be enforced by the Gardaí with a €100 penalty, an option of tougher penalties of up to €1,000 for failing to stop or providing inaccurate details. When a driver is observed by a Garda to be in breach of the law, the Garda may stop the vehicle and will issue a fixed charge notice for €100. Non-payment of the fine within 28 days will lead to an increased fine. If still unpaid after 56 days, a prosecution will be initiated. For a person who fails to stop their vehicle, fails to give an address or gives a false address, the fine upon prosecution can be up to €1,000.