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Forest Ireland condemns motion to ban smoking in outdoor dining areas

Tue 24th April, 2018

Campaigners have condemned calls to extend the smoking ban to outdoor areas where food is served.

A private members motion tabled by Fine Gael Senators wants the government to ban smoking in al fresco dining areas.
 
Reports suggest that Minister for Health Simon Harris will today ask for Cabinet approval to accept the proposal.
 
John Mallon, spokesman for the smokers' group Forest Ireland, said: "The war on smoking has gone far enough. There is no justification for banning smoking outside, even where food is served. 
 
"Smoking in the open air poses no risk to third parties and although it may occasionally be annoying for non-smokers this is a matter for the individual establishment not the government.
 
"If this proposal is in response to an unintended consequence of the smoking ban, which forced smokers outside, the obvious solution is to allow comfortable, well-ventilated smoking rooms indoors."
 
He added: "There has been no public debate about this issue and to the best of our knowledge no consultation with the hospitality industry.
 
"A large number of pubs closed following the smoking ban in 2004. This proposal could have a similar impact on cafes and restaurants because many more smokers could decide to stay at home."

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