World's toughest smoking laws could get tougher
THE toughest anti-smoking laws "in the world" began in Queensland on Thursday - but the Health Minister is not ruling out more smoking restrictions.
It is now illegal to smoke at bus stops, taxi ranks, outdoor shopping malls, aged care facilities, public pools and skate parks. The laws also enable councils to restrict smoking in certain places.
Cancer Council Queensland chief Jeff Dunn said the laws were toughest restrictions on smoking anywhere in the world.
"These new smoking laws are the most progressive laws in this country and indeed in any jurisdiction around the world," he said.
"These laws place Queensland at the forefront of tobacco control. And that is important because two out of every three Queenslanders who take up this habit will ultimately die from a tobacco-related disease."
The laws will also outlaw the sale of tobacco at pop-up retail outlets such as at music festivals.
From February more restrictions will come into effect - within 10m of campsites, picnic areas and boat ramps.
Health Minister Cameron Dick would not rule out even tougher laws.
"I don't rule out taking further steps," he said.
"I want to see how these laws work."
Queensland Chief Health Officer Dr Jeanette Young said the laws would save lives.
Mr Dick said in the last 15 years the rate of Queenslanders who were daily smokers had dropped from 30% to 12%.
He said he hoped the new laws would see fewer than one in 10 Queenslanders smoke every day and eventually lead to a "smoke-free Queensland".
The laws passed parliament in February. - ARM NEWSDESK