Queensland passes tough new smoking laws to protect young and old
The Palaszczuk Government has today passed the strongest anti-smoking laws in Queensland’s history, reducing areas where smokers can light up and restricting tobacco sales.
The Tobacco and Other Smoking Products (Smoke-free Places) Amendment Bill 2015 passed through the Queensland Parliament amid new Queensland Health figures revealing smoking rates in Queensland have dropped to their lowest yet.
The figures show that as at the end of last year, only 12 per cent of adults were smoking daily, compared with 14 per cent in 2014, making for 50,000 fewer Queensland adult daily smokers.
Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Cameron Dick said while these numbers were promising, more than 3700 Queenslanders still died each year as a result of smoking.
“Queensland already leads the nation in laws to cut the harm caused by tobacco, and our new laws will ensure we stay in front,” he said.
“These laws spell a major win for Queenslanders by supporting people who want to stop smoking and protecting the rest of us who choose not to smoke, particularly our young and old.”
The new laws will:
- Ban smoking at or near children’s organised sporting events and skate parks
- Ban smoking in and around approved early childhood education and care services, including kindergartens and places offering after school hour care
- Ban smoking at all residential aged care facilities outside of designated areas
- Increase the smoke-free buffer at all Government, commercial and non‑residential building entrances from four to five metres
- Ban smoking at pedestrian precincts around prescribed State Government buildings, such as 1 William Street
- Ban smoking at specified national parks or parts of national parks, and at public swimming pools
- Ban smoking at all outdoor pedestrian malls and public transport waiting points
- Empower local government to ban smoking in any other public space
- Ban the sale of tobacco products from pop-up retail outlets, such as at music festivals
Mr Dick said the new laws meant parents and children would now be protected from passive smoking in and around areas they congregate and elderly family and friends could also enjoy safer living spaces.
“Our most vulnerable Queenslanders can now look forward to spending time in smoke-free environments, which will lead to a healthier future not only for the next generation, but for Queensland as a whole,” he said.
The new laws will come into effect on 1 September 2016.
Anyone wanting to quit smoking can call Quitline on 13 QUIT (13 7848)