Ten years since smoking ban was introduced

cigarettes1The smoking ban is ten years old this week and the Health Minister says banning smoking in cars carrying children is the crucial next step.

Health groups say the ban on smoking in workplaces, pubs and restaurants has saved thousands of lives and helped cut the rate of smokers in Ireland from 33 to 22 percent of the public.

Minister James Reilly says it was only the first step on a long road and wants to make Ireland 'smoke free' by 2025.

He says banning smoking in cars carrying children is the vital next step.

"Nobody has the right to injure their child - they just don't have that right" he said.

"This is not about being a nanny-state, this is about protecting children until they're old enough - over the age of 18 - to make these decisions for themselves".

"Who could possibly stand over a situation where there's a 3-year-old strapped into the back o