New rules for smokers: A sweeping change is coming to the laws that dictate everything from where you can smoke to how you buy cigarettes
- Queensland launches major anti-smoking campaign
- New rules affect places where residents can smoke
One of Australia’s largest states has launched a major anti-smoking campaign, introducing new laws making it more difficult to buy cigarettes in pubs and clubs and banning smoking near events organized for children.
New legislation will be introduced to the Queensland parliament on Tuesday in a bid by Prime Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk’s government to stop the illegal sale of cigarettes outside of stores.
The proposed laws will also include the introduction of a licensing scheme so that only “fit and proper persons” can sell cigarettes and a ban on smoking in parking lots near schools, open-air markets and events organized specifically for children.
The state government will also introduce stricter restrictions on the sale of cigarettes in licensed places such as pubs and clubs.
Cancer Council Queensland chief executive Andrew Donne said that while the adult smoking rate had more than halved in the past two decades, smoking was still a leading cause of death.
Queensland has launched a major anti-smoking campaign, prompting health experts to warn that tobacco control is “not over”.
Cigarette vending machines will be a thing of the past in the Sunshine State
“Smoking remains the leading cause of preventable death and disease, with one in five cancers attributable to tobacco use,” he said.
Australian Public Health Association chief executive Terry Slevin said many in the community thought “tobacco control is done”.
“It is not, and there is still more to do,” he said.
Meanwhile, Ms Palaszczuk vowed to expose the truth about e-cigarettes through the process of a parliamentary inquiry.
“This is a big problem, everyone is talking about it,” he told Today on Monday morning.
“Young kids are vaping in elementary schools, high schools and of course adults and a lot of people think what they’re vaping is safe,” he said.
Studies have found that vaporizers contain a cocktail of toxic chemicals, including nicotine, the highly addictive substance also found in cigarettes.
The Palaszczuk government is also launching a parliamentary inquiry into vaping (a young man vapes above)
The Premier said it had heard reports that a vaporizer could hold the equivalent of 50 cigarettes.
“We want the facts on the table,” Palaszczuk said.
“I want healthcare professionals to come forward and companies to disclose what is actually in their products.”
Ms Palaszczuk said the government planned to make changes to the way vaporizers were sold to make it easier for police to enforce the law.
“I think parents need to sit down and have an honest conversation with their children about this and I hope this parliamentary inquiry will allow them to have those discussions when the truth comes out,” she said.
The laws will be presented to parliament on Tuesday.
PROPOSED CHANGES TO QUEENSLAND SMOKING LAWS
Supply of smoking products (including electronic cigarettes):
- New licensing regime for the wholesale and retail supply of smoking products.
- Support Commonwealth action to prevent the supply of illicit tobacco products.
- Modernize laws that limit the advertising and display of smoking products.
- Restrict the sale of smoking products in licensed establishments (includes tobacco vending machines) to the bar or bottle shop counter only.
- Prohibit stores from having minors under the age of 18 selling smoking products.
- Clarify that even parents or guardians should not supply smoking products to children.
Smoke-free public places (including e-cigarettes):
- Introduce smoke-free buffer zones around commercial places to eat or drink outdoors.
- Introduce further restrictions on designated outdoor smoking areas in pubs and clubs.
- Make open-air markets smoke-free.
- Make school parking lots smoke-free, including those on adjacent non-school lots.
- Make organized outdoor recreational events for children under 18 smoke-free.
A parliamentary inquiry into vaping will also be launched to seek stricter regulations on e-cigarettes.
They are largely unregulated because most of these products are obtained through unofficial channels.
Prime Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk wants the listed ingredients on the products, as most contain a cocktail of dozens of chemicals.
Source: Queensland Government.