The LNP is leading the charge to reduce the rate of smoking amongst Queenslanders, by introducing new laws aimed at preventing young people from lighting up.
Shadow Minister for Health Mark McArdle said he would introduce a Private Member’s Bill to the Parliament this week, calling for a ban on cigarettes sold at ‘pop-up’ shops and smoking bans within five metres of Queensland Government buildings, at public transport waiting points and pedestrian malls, and at swimming pools and skate parks.
He said the Bill complemented the work done by the former LNP Government to reduce the number of young people taking up the habit and to help those that did smoke to kick it.
“With half of all long-term smokers dying prematurely, we should be doing more to discourage first time smokers from lighting up,” Mr McArdle said.
“The negative impact of passive smoking is also well documented, which is why the LNP Government introduced some of the toughest laws including a ban on smoking on or within five metres of health facilities and school grounds and the time has come to take it further.
“The first step would be to fall in line with every other Australian state and ban the sale of cigarettes at ‘pop up’ sales outlets.
“It is also important to prevent advertising to this age group as the majority of smokers make the transition from experimental to regular smoking during their early twenties.
“By introducing a smoking ban at public swimming pools and skate parks means we would also have a real chance to stop young people taking up the costly habit in the first place.”
Mr McArdle said changes to the Tobacco Act incldued a smoking ban within 5 metres of entrances to Queensland Government buildings including Parliament, Queensland Courts, public service bodies and Government departments.
“By extending these bans to include public transport waiting points and pedestrian malls, we would provide a consistent and enforceable message about passive smoking as well,” he said.
“The LNP is determined to do everything in its power to ensure Queensland is the best state in Australia to live, work and raise a family.
“A healthy Queensland is a better Queensland and this Bill will go a long way to delivering just that.”
- Each year more than 3,400 Queenslanders die from smoking related illnesses.
- The Queensland Cancer Council estimates that smoking accounts for approximately $6.1 billion every year in health costs resulting from 36,000 hospitalisations, lost productivity and premature death in Queensland.
- Smoking accounts for 1 in 7 deaths in Queensland
- Current smokers will die an average of 10 years earlier than non-smokers, with mortality rates increasing substantially with the increased intensity of smoking.
- Tobacco smoking is the leading cause of preventable death and disease, and health inequality in Queensland.
- Approximately one-third of smoking related deaths were of working age Queenslanders.