Contributed

Smokers come under fire from new laws

SMOKERS are likely to get fired up about the Palaszczuk government's proposed changes to tobacco laws in Queensland Parliament on Tuesday.

Health Minister Cameron Dick will introduce new legislation that would make childcare centres, organised children's sporting events and bus stops off limits to smokers.

"People in malls or queuing for a bus or train won't have to inhale second-hand tobacco smoke, and smoke-free residential aged care facilities will ensure protected environments for our elderly family and friends," he said.

"This legislation will also give local councils the power to transform any street or public space in their area not covered by state no-smoking laws into a smoke-free zone, from restaurant precincts and shopping strips to parks and other places families congregate."

Smoking at specified national parks or parts of national parks, public swimming pools and outdoor pedestrian malls would also be made illegal.

Government, commercial and non-residential building entrances' "smoke-free buffer" would be increased from 4m to 5m and pop-up retail outlets, such as music festivals, would not be allowed sell tobacco products.

"Smoking, even second-hand smoke, is proven to cause cancer," Mr Dick 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." 

Cancer Council Queensland chief Jeff Dunn said the proposed changes to the Tobacco and Other Smoking Products Act was a landmark step for Queensland.

"Around one Queenslander a day dies from second-hand smoke exposure - having never smoked a cigarette in their life," Professor Dunn said.

"These proposed changes will safeguard people from second-hand smoke, encourage more smokers to quit, and prevent more young people from taking up this lethal habit.

"Community support for smoke free spaces is higher than ever - Queenslanders urgently want to be safeguarded from the very real dangers of passive smoking."

But the LNP has accused Labor of playing politics.

Opposition health spokesman Mark McArdle said Labor had no previous plan to extend bans until a bipartisan parliamentary committee had endorsed the LNP's Private Member's Bill in July.

Cancer Council Queensland said smoking costs the Queensland economy more than $6 billion each year, causing 3700 deaths and resulting in over 36,000 hospitalisations.

One in five male deaths and one in 10 female deaths each year in Queensland are due to smoking-related illness and disease, and 46% of these are people under the age of 75. 

WHERE YOU WOULD NOT BE ABLE TO LIGHT UP

  • children's organised sporting events
  • skate parks
  • in and around approved early childhood education and care services, including kindergartens and places offering after school hour care
  • residential aged care facilities outside of designated areas
  • 5m from government, commercial and nonresidential building entrances
  • pedestrian precincts around prescribed State Government buildings
  • specified national parks or parts of national parks
  • public swimming pools
  • outdoor pedestrian malls
  • public transport waiting points

 

OTHER CHANGES

  • local governments could also ban smoking in any other public space
  • pop-up retail outlets, such as at music festivals, would not be able to sell tobacco products


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