Queenslanders have stepped up the call for a smoke free state – and their voices have been widely heard.
An overwhelming majority of submissions to a State Government review supported the creation of powers by which body corporates can ban smoking in units and apartments.
The strength of the submissions encouraged me, in my newly appointed role of CEO at Cancer Council Queensland.
A total of 321 submissions were made to the Property Law Review, with the highest number of responses received in answer to the question of whether body corporates should have the ability to ban smoking in multi-unit dwellings. The question was addressed by 261 submissions.
Overwhelmingly, Queenslanders want to see progress on tobacco control so that they and their families are protected against the harmful effects of second-hand smoke.
The evidence is unequivocal – bans on smoking are a great way to help smokers quit, and they also prevent our next generation from taking up this lethal habit.
When I read the submissions to the State Government review, I was moved by the stories of everyday Queenslanders who had been so badly affected by exposure to the toxic chemicals contained in second-hand smoke.
We here at Cancer Council Queensland are also gravely concerned by the fact that 200,000 Queensland children live in a home with a current smoker. Broadening bans on smoking to cover units and apartments will provide our kids with much stronger protection – by further encouraging their guardians to quit, and preventing this abuse.
The latest Cancer Council research shows 70 per cent of Queenslanders support a total ban on smoking in multi-unit dwellings, including balconies.
Our data also confirms that at least half of all Queenslanders living in multi-unit dwellings are affected by smoke drift, and the majority are extremely concerned about the health risks.
The evidence is absolutely undeniable – second-hand smoke kills – at least one Queenslander dies every week from exposure to smoke drift, without ever having smoking a cigarette in their life.
We are proud of the Queensland Government for taking a world-leading stance on tobacco control, and we would welcome continuing action by the Attorney-General to adopt the review’s recommendation.
We’re also encouraging Queenslanders to have their say on the recommendations. Community feedback can be submitted before May 5 via justice.qld.gov.au.
Queensland, stand with us and make a submission – together, we can create a smoke free future. We will continue our fight for all Queenslanders, all cancers.
Ms Chris McMillan
CEO, Cancer Council Queensland