Mon 14th November
Speaking during a debate in the Assembly today (Monday), Mr Durkan said:
“This is not about attacking smokers’ rights- it is about protecting children’s rights.
“Because children breathe faster than adults and their respiratory systems are not fully developed, they are more susceptible to damage through passive smoking. If this smoking is taking place in a confined space, such as in a car, the damage caused is even greater.
“Research clearly indicates that children exposed to second hand smoke are much more likely to suffer from conditions such as asthma, meningitis, glue ear and other respiratory diseases. There are also links to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
“It is vitally important that we raise awareness of these issues for the wellbeing of our children. Not only will it protect their precious health, but it will also see considerable savings made by the Department of Health in the future as it is estimated that second hand smoke currently responsible for 300,000 GP consultations and 9,500 hospital admissions per year.”
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