Government gets tough on Queensland smokers

CHILDCARE centres and organised children's sporting events as well as bus stops will be off limits to smokers under new laws being proposed by the State Government.

The move is designed to restrict tobacco sales, reduce areas where smokers can light up and fight passive smoking.

Health Minister Cameron Dick said while Queensland led Australia in laws to cut the harm caused by tobacco, more than 3700 Queenslanders still died each year as a result of smoking.

"Smoking, even second-hand smoke, is proven to cause cancer," he said.

"That is why our government is taking strong action to support people who want to stop smoking, and to protect the rest of us who choose not to smoke."

The proposed changes to the Tobacco and Other Smoking Products Act will ban smoking:

  •  At or near children's organised sporting events and skate parks;
  •  In and around approved early childhood education and care services, including kindergartens and places offering after school hour care;
  •  At all residential aged-care facilities outside of designated areas;
  •  At pedestrian precincts around prescribed State Government buildings;
  •  At specified national parks or parts of parks, and at public swimming pools; and
  •  At all outdoor pedestrian malls and public transport waiting points.

The proposed changes will also:

  •  Ban the sale of tobacco products from pop-up retail outlets, such as at music festivals;
  •  Increase the smoke-free buffer at all government, commercial and non-residential building entrances from four to five metres; and
  •  Empower local governments to ban smoking in any other public space.

Ipswich MP Jennifer Howard said the changes to the act would mean further protection for the health of local children and families.

"With these changes in place, young people out playing their weekend sport around Ipswich will be able to do so safe in the knowledge that they won't be breathing second-hand smoke," she said.



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