Sinn Féin MLA Daithí McKay has welcomed legislation to ban smoking in cars carrying children.
Mr McKay said;
“Tobacco kills half of its long term users, that is between 6 and 7 people a day here 2,300 people a year.
“A recent study highlighted that the concentration of toxins in a smoke filled vehicle could be up to 11 times greater than a smoky bar.
“Children are particularly vulnerable as they are still developing physically. In evidence to the committee the BMA highlighted how children breathe more rapidly and absorb more pollutants.
“Children exposed to second hand smoke in vehicles are at a greater risk of asthma and of taking up smoking in adolescence.
“We have witnessed high compliance rates for smoke free legislation. However its success can be greatly assisted by a public awareness campaign.
“We also need a long term sustained comprehensive tobacco control strategy that looks at all the influences, curtails the tobacco industry, helps people to stop smoking, and protects children and others from second hand smoke.”