Smoking ban could have dental effects

€100 fixed-penalty notice for offenders could help dental health in children

A ban on smoking in cars where children are present came into force on 1 January with a €100 fixed-penalty notice for offenders.

Minister for Health Leo Varadkar and Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Dr James Reilly launched the campaign which makes it an offence for anyone to smoke a tobacco product in a vehicle where a child is present, or to allow someone else to smoke in the vehicle.

A Japanese study, published in the British Medical Journal in October last year (BMJ 2015;351:h5397), concluded that children exposed to second-hand smoke at four months of age led to an approximately twofold increased risk of caries. The risk also increased among those exposed to household smoking by 1.5-fold.

Minister Varadkar said: “I am delighted to be in a position to sign this measure into law. The Health Behaviour in School-aged Children Survey indicates that almost one in every five children is exposed to second- hand smoke in cars. This measure can only improve the health of many children and I know it will be supported by the public.”