Smoking drivers hit hard by law

QUEENSLAND has brought in a ban on smoking in cars carrying children under the age of 16.

Although Member for Burnett Rob Messenger was pleased the bill went through, he thought more could have been done to make motorists stub out the habit.

“I think they should ban smoking in cars, full-stop,” Mr Messenger said.

He also hit out at Deputy Premier and Health Minister Paul Lucas, saying he “giggled” at his suggestion.

“I don’t think he is fit to be health minister,” he said.

The ban has been welcomed by the Cancer Council Queensland.

“It is seen as a victory for the council and the Queensland community,” communication adviser Robyn Poole said.

“We have been advocating for some time now to have smoking in cars with children stopped.”

Cancer Council Queensland tobacco program team leader Emma Dalglish said the “concentrated level” from sm- oking in cars had serious health risks.

She said respiratory infections, middle ear disease and bronchitis were all health concerns related to passive smoking in children.

Deputy Premier and Health Minister Paul Lucas said the new laws would start from January and apply on all public roads.

“These new laws are about reducing the exposure children have to tobacco smoke,” Mr Lucas said in a statement on Thursday.

The legislation was passed in Queensland parliament on Thursday as part of measures contained in the Health and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2009.

The government described its anti-smoking laws as the toughest in the country, including smoking bans for public places as well as restrictions on retail advertising, display and promotion of tobacco products.

Other states are also introducing bans on smoking in cars with children.



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