We have all been breathing easily since smoking ban was introduced

It is one of the most effective public health measures ever in this country. To what do I refer?

The smoking ban, introduced in workplaces in Ireland 15 years ago today.

It’s easy to forget the life of second-hand smoke, pre the ban. But you only have to travel to a country where none is in place to remember the awfulness of sitting and passively inhaling someone else’s smoke to the point of nausea, and coming home after a night-out smelling like an old ashtray.

If this is the nanny state in peak action, I’m all for it. In fact, how could then Health Minister, Micheál Martin, not have done it, given the declaration by the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer that environmental tobacco smoke included more than 50 known carcinogens and that passive smokers were in serious and constant danger.

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