Irish Health Minister James Reilly says he will ban outdoor smoking in parks and on beaches to stop children seeing adults smoking. He also intends to ban smoking in cars with children present.

He made his plans public at the irish Heart Foundation conference on Friday, according to the Irish Examiner.

He stated he wanted to follow the lead of New York which bans smoking in city-owned public spaces. He will bring his plan to the cabinet shortly.

"We don’t want children to see adults smoking in public areas. Areas where we would expect lots of children to be present, as in our public parks and on our beaches, should be smoke-free zones, and I will be putting a memo to Government to that effect."

He said 29 per cent of Irish adults still smoked a figure that was far too high. In New York he said that had been cut to 22 per cent.

"This is a duty of care we have to our citizens and that duty is all the greater to citizens who don’t have a voice — our children."

A spokesman for anti-smoking group Ash Ireland, Dr Brian Maurer, said they would welcome  the Minister’s moves and that they were overdue.

Call to ban tobacco products across Ireland and the whole of EuropeGoogle Images