New On-The-Spot Smoking Fines At Health Facilities And School Grounds

New On-The-Spot Smoking Fines At Health Facilities And School Grounds

Acting Queensland Minister for Health Mark McArdle

Tough Smoking Laws Make New Year Time To Butt Out

Victor P Taffa

Queenslanders are just days away from breathing easier around schools and hospitals.

Those who smoke on, or within five metres of health facilities and school grounds will face on-the-spot fines of at least $227 from 1 January, 2015.

Acting Health Minister Mark McArdle said the changes to the Tobacco and Other Smoking Products Act 1998 aimed to make Queensland a healthier place to live and raise a family.

 

 

 

“Second-hand smoke causes 10 % of deaths due to smoking-related diseases so the buffer around schools and health facilities will help disperse smokers that congregate at entry and exit points.” Mr. McArdle said.

“Making Queensland hospitals and health facilities completely smoke free reinforces the message that these places are for healthcare and the promotion of healthy lifestyle choices.”

“The non-smoking five metre buffer zones will also ensure smokers extinguish their cigarettes well before entering the school or health grounds.”

“The Newman Queensland State Government wants Queensland to be the safest place to live and raise a family and we firmly believe that quitting is the best thing for a smoker and their family’s health.” Mr. McArdle said.

The new laws apply to all public hospitals and healthcare facilities (including public community health centres, aged care facilities, mental health facilities and rehabilitation facilities) as well as private hospitals and day hospitals.

The laws also apply to all state and non-state primary and secondary schools.

Under the amendments to the Tobacco and Other Smoking Products Act 1998 Queensland will also become the first state to subject e-cigarettes to the same laws as regular cigarettes.

The new laws will be enforced by Queensland Health Environmental Health Officers, Local Government officers, and Hospital and Health Service Chief Executive-appointed authorised persons such as security staff.