Renewed push for smokers to butt out in Queensland

QUEENSLAND smokers could be forced to butt out near all government buildings, transport waiting areas, pedestrian malls, public swimming pools and skateparks under a proposal to strengthen the state's smoking laws.

The sale of cigarettes at pop-up sales venues could also be banned under the proposal.

Cancer Council Queensland chief Professor Jeff Dunn said the organisation fully supported the proposals currently before a parliamentary committee.

He said in his submission to the committee, smoking accounts for one in seven deaths across the state.

"Banning smoking at government buildings will discourage people from smoking and protect people from the harmful effects of second-hand smoke," he said.

"Passive smoking is associated with a 25% increase in the risk of coronary heart disease among non-smokers and an increase in the risk of stroke, cancer, and other life-limiting diseases.

"Banning smoking around buildings also discourages smokers from clustering around building entrances and exposing greater numbers of people to second-hand smoke."

Local Government Association of Queensland advocacy general manger Greg Hoffman said the majority of the state's 77 local governments do not have the resources to enforce the proposals.

It said in its submission to the committee, joint patrols with Queensland Police Service do assist in achieving compliance with legislation, however both are labour intensive and require a coordinated approach across agencies.

Queensland's smoking rates are still high, with the third highest proportion of smokers in the nation (17%) behind the Northern Territory (24%) and Tasmania (22%).

The committee is due to hand down its findings and recommendations before October 16.

- APN NEWSDESK.

QUEENSLAND SMOKING FACTS

17% of Queenslanders are current smokers

14% of Queenslanders smoke daily

28% are ex-smokers

About 55% of Queenslanders have never smoked

15.8 years is the age of the first full cigarette for persons aged 14 years and older

15% of women still smoke at some time during their pregnancy

About 2.6% quit before the second half of pregnancy and 13% smoke throughout

There are about 500,000 adults smokers in the state


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