Cancer Council Queensland has congratulated the Palaszczuk Government for introducing legislation to Parliament today to safeguard the community against second-hand smoke.
Among the proposed changes to the Tobacco and Other Smoking Products Act, the legislation will ban smoking at public transport waiting points, pedestrian malls, specified national parks and at or near children’s organised sporting events and skate parks.
Cancer Council Queensland CEO Professor Jeff Dunn AO said the legislation was a strong step towards a smoke free future for the State.
“Around one Queenslander a day dies from second-hand smoke exposure – having never smoked a cigarette in their life,” Prof Dunn said.
“Tragically, about 370 Queenslanders lose their lives each year due to someone else’s smoking habit – this has to stop.
“The introduction of this legislation into Parliament is a landmark step for Queensland.
“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.
“It is also encouraging to see the Government asking for an investigation into licensing arrangements that affect the sale and use of tobacco in Queensland.”
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 per cent of these are people under the age of 75.
“Community support for smoke free spaces is higher than ever – Queenslanders urgently want to be safeguarded from the very real dangers of passive smoking,” Prof Dunn said.
“Under these laws, Queenslanders waiting for public transport and enjoying our pedestrian malls will be able to breathe easier.
“Children will be protected from the harms of passive smoke, with a ban on smoking set to be introduced in and around kindergartens, after school hours care and early childhood services.
“This legislation raises the global benchmark in tobacco control and sets a new standard for public health and wellbeing – we applaud the Health Minister for his leadership.”
Smokers are urged to call the Quitline on 13 QUIT (13 7848) for help with quitting.
For more information or interviews, please contact:
Katie Clift, Executive Manager, Media and Spokesperson, Cancer Council Queensland