PRICEY HABIT: The cost of lighting up will increase as of today.
PRICEY HABIT: The cost of lighting up will increase as of today. Sharyn O'Neill

More smoking bans a burning issue for LNP

SMOKERS will be banned from lighting up within 5m of Queensland Government buildings and certain public areas if the LNP has its way.

Opposition health spokesman Mark McArdle will this week introduce a private member's bill to parliament calling for smoking bans and prohibiting the sale of cigarettes at "pop-up" shops.

The 5m ban would also apply to public transport waiting points, pedestrian malls, swimming pools and skate parks.

Cancer Council Queensland spokeswoman Katie Clift said community support for smoke-free spaces was higher than ever.

She is calling for bipartisan support for the bill.

"Children and young people will benefit significantly, with discouragement of generational smoking and reduced exposure to the harmful effects of second-hand smoke," Ms Clift said.

"The bill responds to community appeals for smoke-free places and acknowledges the evidence that most smokers want to quit, but need to be nudged.

"It raises the global benchmark in tobacco control and sets a new standard for public health and wellbeing."

Mr McArdle said Queensland would be falling in line with other Australian states by banning "pop up" outlets from selling cigarettes.

"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," Mr McArdle said.

"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."

Smokers can obtain free information, practical assistance and support from Quitline, 13 QUIT (13 7848). 

FAST FACTS

3400 Queenslanders die from smoking related illnesses annually

Smoking accounts for about $6.1 billion every year in health costs resulting from 36,000 hospitalisations, lost productivity and premature death in Queensland

Smoking accounts for one in seven deaths in Queensland

Current smokers will die an average of 10 years earlier than non-smokers

Tobacco smoking is the leading cause of preventable death and disease, and health inequality in Queensland

About one-third of smoking related deaths were of working age Queenslanders

Source: Queensland Cancer Council 



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