Queenslanders call for full quits on smoking – once and for all

Queenslanders want smoking to go once and for all – calling for full bans around kids, at pubs and clubs, and in apartment blocks, as well as retail bans on minors selling tobacco products – a new study has found.

Cancer Council’s Everyday Health Survey on Tobacco, released today (World Cancer Day), canvassed community views on tobacco control in Queensland.

The survey found 84 per cent of Queenslanders want bans on smoking within 10 metres of children, 66 per cent want smoking fully banned in pubs and clubs, 70 per cent support smoking bans in apartment buildings, and 85 per cent want the legal age for selling tobacco to be over 18 years.

Cancer Council Queensland CEO Professor Jeff Dunn AO said the survey clearly showed Queenslanders support ongoing Government progress towards a smoke free future.

“Queenslanders are more aware than ever before that smoking kills – and have called for greater action to protect our children and the community from harm,” Prof Dunn said.

“In addition to Queensland’s world-leading smoke-free spaces legislation – the survey found Queenslanders want a complete ban on smoking in pubs and clubs, and multi-unit dwellings.

“Alarmingly, about 200,000 Queensland kids currently live in a household with a smoker – this is a scourge we must stamp out – and nearly all Queenslanders agree with us.

“The majority of Queenslanders also want a total ban on tobacco vending machines, to further limit supply and discourage predatory selling to some of the most vulnerable members of our society, along with supporting an increase in the legal age to purchase cigarettes from 18 to 21 years.

“The Queensland Government is a world leader on tobacco control – but we have more work to do.

“The time is now to start talking about a generational phase-out on smoking – creating a game-changing legacy for future generations.

“There is no doubt we have the best smoke free laws of any jurisdiction in the world – but we can do better – by raising the global benchmark even higher.

“This is a time for our Government to respond to calls from our Queensland community, to do more to protect our state from the scourge of tobacco.”

About 12 per cent of Queensland adults smoke daily – down from 14 per cent in 2014 – and the majority of smokers want to quit.

The survey found a majority of Queenslanders support a generational phase-out of smoking – making it illegal to sell tobacco to anyone born after 2001, and for anyone born after 2001 to smoke.

“We have asked the Government to consult with the community on our proposal for a generational phase-out involving a complete ban on the sale of cigarettes to all children born after 2001,” Prof Dunn said.

Around 3700 Queenslanders die from a tobacco-related disease each year.

Smokers can obtain free information, practical assistance and support from Quitline, 13 QUIT (13 7848).

More information about Cancer Council Queensland is available at www.cancerqld.org.au or Cancer Council’s 13 11 20.