Big change planned for pub smokers

One state government is calling on residents to have their say on tougher smoking laws that would affect smokers at pubs and clubs.

Queenslanders have been urged to have their say on a new government proposal that would ban smokers and e-cigarette users from drinking in designated smoking areas.

The proposal, which was announced on World Tobacco Day on Tuesday, further highlights a push for fresh bans on smoking at markets and school carparks.

The new measures include prohibiting retail workers under 18 from selling smoking products and banning children under 18 from entering outdoor smoking areas.

Key proposals also include creating a licensing scheme for smoking retailers and wholesalers and moving vending machines out of the public eye and behind the counter at pubs and clubs.

Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said the proposed restrictions would further discourage residents to light up in one of the toughest states on tobacco use in the world.

“We want to hear from Queenslanders, including small businesses, and we’ll advance our package of reforms based on the feedback to our regulatory impact statement for introduction into the Queensland parliament.” she said.

“In the past 20 years, we’ve seen the rate of smoking halve in Queensland, but there is more work to be done.

“Smoking is the leading preventable cause of death and disease in Queensland.”

In 2015-2016, smoking accounted for more than 65,000 hospitalisations and around 12 per cent of all deaths in the state.

But there’s been a steady 11 per cent decrease in the deadly hobby since 2018, although recent statistics reveal there may be a new threat to the state, vaping.

More than 16 per cent of secondary school students in the state have reported using e-cigarettes, while the smoking rate for people aged 12-17 years old sits at almost 7 per cent.

The Sunshine State community forks out an estimated $27bn dollars per year on costs relating to smoking, including hospitalisations, premature death and social costs.

Tips on how to reduce smoking can be found here.

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