Our new Junior Health Minister wants designated smoking rooms in public establishments 4 years ago

Our new Junior Health Minister wants designated smoking rooms in public establishments

We're not quite sure what to think of this...

It was in 2004 that the workplace smoking ban was initiated and it was heralded a huge success, guaranteeing clean air in pubs and restaurants for families and people alike.

According to the new Junior Health minister, Finian McGrath, smokers should be allowed to light up in pubs and other indoor areas, also suggesting that the country’s strict smoking rules should be relaxed.

ROSZKE, HUNGARY - SEPTEMBER 14: (EDITOTS NOTE: This image was processed with digital filters) An empty packet of foreign cigarettes lays on the ground as migrants discard items no longer wanted or needed when they cross the Hungarian border on September 14, 2015 in Roszke, Hungary. Since the beginning of 2015 the number of migrants using the so-called 'Balkans route' has exploded with migrants arriving in Greece from Turkey and then travelling on through Macedonia and Serbia before entering the EU via Hungary. As the migrants converge on the small gap in the border fence of the Hungarian-Serbian border they discard items that they are too tired to carry or no longer need. Many shoes litter the tracks as they replace them with shoes donated by the public. Forms of identity are also ripped up and discarded along with tents, sim cards and blankets. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

The Minister, who is a smoker himself, claims that smokers are soft targets for the government.

The 63-year-old said that while visiting other countries like Portugal, he has seen the success of designated indoor smoking areas and suggests Ireland should follow suit.

Speaking in an interview with the Sunday Business Post, minister McGrath said

"I was in Portugal with the justice committee two years ago and I saw it first-hand."

"... I was in Germany a couple of years ago and - I think it was Frankfurt - they had a similar position and I saw it working."

McGrath stressed that his comments on designated smoking areas represented his own “personal, private view” and that he would not be repeating them in a ministerial capacity.

He has said that he will support the government’s commitment to making Ireland tobacco free within the next ten years.