Law sees 30% rise in smoking-free homes in Republic
A leading Ulster charity last night revealed that as a result of the controversial smoking ban in the Republic of Ireland, the number of smoke free Irish homes has increased by more than 30%.
The release of the statistics by the Northern Ireland Chest, Heart and Stroke Association coincide with today's announcement by Health Minister Shaun Woodward that a partial smoking ban is to be implemented across Ulster.
Speaking ahead of today's announcement, chief executive of the charity, Andrew Dougal, said the figures demonstrate that the ban has encouraged smokers to kick the habit, which in turn has decreased the number of children being subjected to the harmful carcinogens found in cigarette smoke.
He explained: "Northern Ireland Chest, Heart and Stroke Association wishes to let the minister know that, as a result of smoke-free environments in the Republic of Ireland, the number of Irish homes which are smoke free has increased from 15% to 20%, which is an increase of more than 30%.
"This nails the lie of a UK Government minister that prohibiting smoking in bars would bring about a situation where children were exposed to much more smoke in the home.
"It is gratifying that this misconception has been put to bed."
He went on to say that, according to a recent MORI poll, the majority of the adult population is in favour of smoke-free environments, with 70% of smokers hoping to beat their addiction.
"Less than 8% of the Northern Ireland population are determined smokers, and it would be inappropriate if the minister was guided by eight percent of the population and sacrificed the common good, in terms of health, for the rest of society."