Smoking ban at Qld stops

Queensland passes tough new anti-smoking laws to protect waiting public transport users

A smoking ban at all bus stops state-wide was passed into law this week, after receiving majority support in Queensland’s Parliament.

The Tobacco and Other Smoking Products Amendment Bill (2015) is the strongest anti-smoking law in Queensland’s history and designed to protect public health, by reducing exposure to second-hand inhalation.

While there is little evidence to show sharing space with smokers is putting people off public transport, the move comes as more of a public health measure.

"Queensland already leads the nation in laws to cut the harm caused by tobacco, and our new laws will ensure we stay in front," Queensland minister for health and ambulance services Cameron Dick says.

"These laws spell a major win for Queenslanders by supporting people who want to stop smoking and protecting the rest of us who choose not to smoke, particularly our young and old."

The new laws meant parents and children would now be protected from passive smoking in and around areas they congregate and elderly family and friends could also enjoy safer living spaces.

"Our most vulnerable Queenslanders can now look forward to spending time in smoke-free environments, which will lead to a healthier future not only for the next generation, but for Queensland as a whole," Dick says.

New Queensland Health figures reveal smoking rates in Queensland have dropped to record lows, with only 12 per cent of adults smoking daily last year, compared with 14 per cent in 2014, amounting to a decrease of 50,000 people.

With more than 3700 Queenslanders still die each year as a result of smoking however - it still poses a major health risk.

The new anti- smoking laws come into effect at bus stops throughout Queensland on September 1 this year.

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