BUTT OUT: From September 1, 2016 the minimum penalty for breaches of the state's new smoke-free laws will be $243, up to a maximum of $2,438.
BUTT OUT: From September 1, 2016 the minimum penalty for breaches of the state's new smoke-free laws will be $243, up to a maximum of $2,438. DEAN LEWINS

Queensland's new smoke-free laws have kicked in

QUEENSLAND'S tough new smoke-free laws kicked in on Thursday, September 1, meaning fines of up to $2438 for lighting up in the wrong place.

The laws ban smoking in most public places and if people are caught smoking in those areas, harsher penalties will be enforced.

The minimum penalty for breaches of the strict new smoking laws is $243, up to a maximum of $2438 and will be enforced by Queensland Health Officers.

The places in Queensland which are now smoke-free, including e-cigarettes, are:

  • Bus stops, ferry terminals and taxi ranks
  • Outdoor pedestrian malls, childcare centres and aged-care facilities
  • Childrens' sporting grounds, skate parks and swimming pools.

The State Government has also given local government the power to ban smoking in any public space "not covered by a state-wide smoking ban”.

The new laws will become even harsher from February next year when the prohibited areas are extended even further to include areas of National Parks, and within 10 metres of in-use camp sites and within 10 metres of picnic tables, barbecues and toilet blocks.

There was a mixed response to the new smoking laws, with many voicing their opinion on the Gatton Star's Facebook page.

Bronwyn Taylor, who is a smoker, said she agreed with the new restrictions.

"The public shouldn't have to deal with smokers, especially children and the older generation,” Ms Taylor said.

Nikita Pearson said she didn't think the distances were far enough.

"They could be much harsher: five metres from the entry of a childcare? A step in the right direction but not good enough,” Ms Pearson said.

Katrina Dotta said she thought the new distances were incorrect.

"Banning smoking within 10 metres from a skate park but only five metres from early childhood education centres? They should all just be 10 metres...” she said.

The new smoke-free laws from September 1 will be:

  • Ban smoking within five metres of public transport waiting points such as bus stops, taxi ranks and ferry terminals.
  • Ban smoking within ten metres of playing and viewing areas during organised under-18 sporting events.
  • Ban smoking within ten metres of skate parks.
  • Ban smoking within five metres of early childhood education and care services, including kindergartens and places offering after school hour care.
  • Ban smoking at all outdoor pedestrian malls.
  • Ban smoking within five metres of all residential aged care facilities, outside of designated areas.
  • Increase the smoke free buffer at all non-residential building entrances from four to five metres.
  • Ban smoking at pedestrian precincts around prescribed State Government buildings.
  • Ban smoking at public swimming pool facilities.
  • Ban the sale of tobacco products from temporary retail outlets.
  • Empower local government to ban smoking in any public space not covered by a state-wide smoking bans.

From February 1, 2017:

  • Smoking will also be prohibited at prescribed areas of Queensland's national parks.
  • Smoking will be banned within ten metres of in-use camp sites.
  • Smoking will be banned within ten metres of visitor infrastructure including public barbecues, picnic tables, visitor information centres and toilet blocks.

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