The Queensland Government’s new smoke-free zone laws were implemented on September 1, leading QLD one step closer to becoming a smoke free state.
Smoking has been banned near public transport waiting points, including ferry terminals, train stations, bus stops and taxi ranks as well as extending smoking bans to early childhood education and care centers.
Minister of Health and Ambulance Services, Cameron Dick spoke about the $6.3 billion incurred from health costs and premature deaths as well as lost productivity.
“I am proud that we are leading Australia in laws to restrict tobacco product display in retail outlets, reduce public areas where smokers can light up or use e-cigarettes and protect others from second-hand smoke,” Mr Dick said.
“These laws are a breath of fresh air for QLD and they are the toughest anti-smoking laws in the country.”
Community groups and organizations such as Australian Medical Association QLD, the Heart Foundation and the Cancer Council QLD have been large supporters of the new laws.
Cancer Council QLD CEO, Professor Jeff Dunn AO said the laws positioned QLD as a global leader in tobacco control.
“These new smoking bans will discourage our next generation from taking up smoking and nudge many more smokers to quit for good,” Mr. Dunn said.
“This is a step the community can be proud of- smoke free laws save lives.”
While a recorded 88% of Queenslanders are non-smokers, exposure to second-hand smoke continues to occur as over 3,700 Queenslanders die each year as a result of smoking.
QLD resident and smoker, Joshua spoke about his doubts in regards to the policing and surveillance of the new zones.
“It’s unlikely that many will go out of their way to find a new smoking spot, I’m going to keep smoking where I normally do until I get caught and I don’t think they’ll have much of an impact unless it is policed,” Joshua said.