Kieran McCarthy MLA said: “I would encourage the Health Minister to extend this ban on smoking in cars with children to Northern Ireland. The near unanimous support for plain packaging for cigarettes has shown that the political support exists for tighter controls on smoking.
“There is no way that anybody can claim that a child’s health is not harmed by being in such an enclosed space as a car with second hand smoke. This ban is long overdue and I hope that the Assembly will follow Westminster’s decision.
“In the past ten years there have been a number of laws which have been very effective in reducing smoking levels but more work is needed to protect children and prevent them taking up the habit.
“Northern Ireland must not be allowed to fall behind the rest of the UK in terms of smoking laws.”