The Minister for Health, Micheál Martin, has said he will be looking for 90% compliance with the new ban on smoking in the workplace. The ban comes into effect at midnight.

On RTÉ radio, Mr Martin said he expected it would take six weeks for the ban to settle down. He said once it was in place, the public would be greatly interested in enforcing the ban.

The minister said he was very happy to have introduced the ban and was satisfied that young people growing up now will take for granted smoke-free working environments.

Anyone breaking the new law will be liable to a fine of up to €3,000. Four hundred environmental health officers will police the ban.