Senator James Reilly proposed the idea back in February

Smoking could soon be banned in outdoor areas that serve food.

Its a proposal set to be put before Cabinet by the Health Minister Simon Harris today.

The private members motion wants the Government to ban smoking in al fresco dining areas.

Pro-smoking campaigners have condemned the proposals.

John Mallon, spokesman for Forest Ireland, said: "The war on smoking is going too far. There is no justification for banning smoking outside, even where food is served.

"Smoking in the open air poses no risk to third parties and although it may occasionally be annoying for non-smokers this is a matter for the individual establishment not the Government."

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Fine Gael Senator, and former health Minister, James Reilly proposed the idea back in February.

Senator Reilly says it should no longer be acceptable for people to smoke where others are eating.

Figures from the Health Service Executive (HSE) in April 2017 showed Ireland had more quitters than smokers.

The HSE says smoking is the single biggest cause of illness, disability and death in Ireland.

Some 23% of the Irish population smoke, and about 19% smoke every day.