Cancer Council Queensland has welcomed the finding of an interstate Parliamentary Committee that there are no legal impediments to implementing a generational phase-out of cigarettes.
The finding by a Tasmanian Parliamentary Committee has effectively cleared the way for the state to push ahead with laws banning the sale of tobacco to young people born after 2000.
Cancer Council Queensland CEO Professor Jeff Dunn AO said the move provided additional impetus for such a move in Queensland.
“Now, more than ever, a generational phase-out is within reach.
“As such, we would welcome the Queensland Government’s active consideration of a generational phase-out of cigarettes.
“Queensland is uniquely placed to be a global leader in this field, having recently introduced the most progressive smoke free laws of any jurisdiction in the world.
“Specifically, Cancer Council Queensland recommends the State Government commission an independent community consultation process to canvass public sentiment on the proposal for a generational phase-out of smoking in the form of a complete ban on the sale of cigarettes to all children born after 2001.
“A generational phase-out must seriously be considered in order to protect future generations from the harmful impacts of smoking,” Prof Dunn said.
Two in three smokers will die from their habit – and about one Queenslander a day will die simply from second-hand smoke exposure.
“This is one of the most serious threats to community health and the wellbeing of our next generation.
“As a State – from Government to community organisations to individuals – we need to ask: are we doing enough?
“A generational phase-out could take the form of a complete ban on smoking for all children born after 2001.
“This would mean that young people turning 15 this year would never legally be allowed to smoke in Queensland – providing another measure to reduce the harmful toll of cigarettes.
“One thing is certain – our failure to take action today will burden our children tomorrow with tobacco-related debt and disease.
“Cancer Council Queensland is ready to protect our children. We are calling for even stronger action against smoking.
“We urge all Queenslanders to stand with us for a smoke free future and to support the recommendations of the World Health Organization and other leading global health agencies.”
Around 12 per cent of Queensland adults smoke daily – 50,000 fewer people than in 2014. Research shows the majority of smokers want to quit.
Around 3700 Queenslanders die from a tobacco-related disease each year. About 370 of these deaths are caused by second-hand smoke exposure.
On September 1 2016, new laws will come into effect banning smoking at public transport waiting points, pedestrian malls, aged care facilities, specified national parks and at or near children’s organised sporting events and skate parks in Queensland.
Smokers are urged to call the Quitline on 13 QUIT (13 7848) for help with quitting.
More information about Cancer Council Queensland is available at cancerqld.org.au or 13 11 20.