Queenslanders call for no-smoking by-laws

An overwhelming majority of submissions to a State Government review have supported the creation of powers by which body corporates can ban smoking in units and apartments.

As a result, the Property Law Review has recommended body corporates be given the power to ban smoking, protecting residents from harmful second-hand smoke drift.

A total of 321 submissions were made to the 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.

Cancer Council Queensland CEO Chris McMillan welcomed the review’s finding that there were no reasons to stop bodies corporate from passing and enforcing no-smoking by-laws.

“A majority of submissions to the review rightly argued that the smoke from a smoker’s lot does not remain in the smoker’s lot, but enters adjacent lots, permeating into carpets, curtains, clothing and furniture,” Ms McMillan said.

“Queenslanders overwhelmingly agreed that non-smokers should not be subjected to second-hand smoke from neighbouring smokers.

“Many submissions commented that they had been personally affected by exposure to the toxic chemicals contained in second hand smoke.

“The review clearly demonstrates the urgent need for bans on smoking in multi-unit dwellings to protect Queenslanders from the lethal effects of smoking and second-hand smoke.

“Our research shows 70 per cent of Queenslanders support a total ban on smoking in multi-unit dwellings, including balconies.

“Half of all Queenslanders living in multi-unit dwellings are affected by smoke drift, and 55 per cent are extremely concerned about the health risks.

“Many non-smokers living in multi-unit dwellings have to shut their windows and doors to prevent smoke drift from neighbouring properties – with detrimental impacts on quality of life.

“The evidence is 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 have a responsibility to protect the Queensland community from the harmful effects of second and third-hand smoke.

“We are gravely concerned that 200,000 Queensland children live in a home with a current smoker – broadening bans on smoking to cover units and apartments will provide them with much stronger protection by further encouraging guardians to quit, and preventing this abuse.”

The Government is seeking community feedback on the recommendations by May 5 via justice.qld.gov.au.

“We urge Queenslanders to stand with us against smoking and make a submission,” Ms McMillan said.

“The Queensland Government is a world leader on tobacco control and we would welcome continuing action by the Attorney-General to adopt the review’s recommendation.”

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

Around 3700 Queenslanders die from a tobacco-related disease each year. One in eight Queensland adults smoke daily.

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

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

For more information or interviews, please contact:
Katie Clift,
Executive Manager,
Media and Spokesperson,
Cancer Council Queensland
Phone: (07) 3634 5372
Mobile: 0409 001 171



The amendments to the Tobacco and Other Smoking Products Act 1998 were passed on 23 February 2016 and came into effect on 1 September 2016. The tobacco laws:

  • Ban smoking at or near underage organised sporting events and skate parks.
  • Ban smoking in and around approved early childhood education and care facilities, including kindergartens and places offering after school hour care.
  • Ban smoking at all residential aged care facilities outside of nominated outdoor smoking places.
  • 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 prescribed national parks or parts of parks.
  • Ban smoking 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, including on any street or park.
  • Ban the sale of tobacco products from temporary retail outlets, such as at music festivals.
  • The laws also include electronic cigarettes as they are classified as smoking products.