Smokers to be banned from bus stops, childcare centres across Queensland

The Queensland Government is enacting a ban on smoking at bus stops, taxi ranks, childcare centres and children’s sporting events.

The legislative changes will also include the monitoring of cigarettes sales as other states and territories licence the supply of tobacco.

Queensland Health Minister Cameron Dick said smoking would also be banned at all residential aged care facilities outside of designated areas.

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

“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.”

Mr Dick said smoking cost the Queensland economy more than $6 billion each year, caused 3,700 deaths and resulted in more than 36,000 hospitalisations.

The Queensland branch of the Australian Medical Association (AMAQ) welcomed the crackdown.

“Anything that reduces the access to and the ease to which people can smoke and very importantly start smoking is important” AMAQ president Dr Chris Zappala said.

“Smoking-related illnesses and smoking-related deaths still remain a big big problem for our community.

“Lung cancer, for example, remains the highest cancer killer around the world including Australia.

“Hand in hand with the changes should be extra assistance to help people quit.”

The changes will also empower councils to declare smoke free zones as they see fit.

Cancer Council Queensland CEO Professor Jeff Dunn congratulated the State Government for its action.

“Children and young people will benefit significantly through discouragement of generational smoking and reduced exposure to the harmful effects of second-hand smoke,” he said.

The new laws are expected to go before State Parliament next month.

Source: ABC News