News

Smoking ban ignites "Nanny State" debate

Is Queensland becoming a Nanny State?

This poll ended on 20 February 2013.

Yes, people need to take responsibility for their own actions - 69%

No, we need more rules to protect people from themselves - 19%

Things are fine how they are - 11%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

IPSWICH'S smoking ban has been described as a step towards a "nanny state" by civil libertarians, a claim dismissed by Mayor Paul Pisasale.

Queensland Council for Civil Liberties president Michael Cope said the Ipswich Mall was an open area where cigarette smoke could be avoided.

Ipswich City Council introduced a smoking ban in the mall this month, with the Ipswich Hospital announcing a similar ban for their grounds to be enforced later this year.

But Cr Pisasale reiterated his position, that smokers had abused the mall, blowing smoke into people's faces and leaving cigarette butts to be cleaned up by the community.

Mr Cope said smoking was a personal lifestyle choice and individuals would live with the consequences.

"Our position on smoking in public areas is that while we understand why these things are banned, our concern is it becomes the thin end of the wedge when it comes to being a nanny state," he said.

Cr Pisasale said Ipswich was not a nanny state and the council was not banning smoking.

"It's not a nanny state. Mr Cope doesn't know what he is talking about. It's a confined space where we are trying to create clean air," he said. "We have had constant complaints where people have misused the privilege and stubbed their butts into the ground or in gardens and the community have had to clean them up."

Ipswich City Council had issued on average 15 fines a day since their inception, and UQ Law School senior lecturer Dr Paul O'Shea said it would be hard to challenge the legality of the fine. He said only hard evidence proving public health was not at risk by smoking would overturn any fine.

"That could be an argument, that it was not just for public health reasons but for other reasons. But that's going to be difficult to prove," he said.

"It would be difficult for someone to challenge the law. If, however, evidence was produced that the threat to public health was non-existent the council would have a problem but I don't think that would be the case. The issue would be whether this law is just pursuant to the council's powers to preserve public health."

Dr O'Shea said the council's law-making ability extended to public health issues and not behavioural issues.

"They don't have powers to pass laws about public order or behaviour. The balance between individual rights and freedoms is, for the large part, left to elected officials and not to the courts."

Two thirds support smoking ban at hospital but others fume

SMOKING bans in the Ipswich Mall and more recently at the Ipswich Hospital have polarised Queensland Times readers.

A poll conducted on the QT website found 69% of readers supported the ban of smoking at the hospital, but those against the ban argued it was an over-reaction by authorities.

Kezza618 wrote that smokers were being discriminated against by being told where they could and couldn't light up.

"Well sorry to say, we are being 'discriminated big time!' There are many of us that do the right thing, put our butts where they are supposed to.

"We have followed all the rules that have been put in place and now this!"

WWilliams from One Mile said the bans were a little over the top.

"I'm a former smoker, and aware of the downside to the habit, but all these borderline hysterical reactions to it are increasingly reminiscent of a little Austrian corporal," he wrote.

Many readers supported the move by the Ipswich City Council and Mayor Paul Pisasale to protect the public from the health risk of passive smoking.

Newboy from Ipswich said banning smoking from places such as the Ipswich Mall was a positive for the community.

"Anything to restrict smoking is a good thing. Perhaps the chat room could use the ban in an educative way to encourage the young people not to smoke."

Ipswitchyite from Ipswich said smoking outside the hospital was not a good look for patients or staff.

"Good. It's really pathetic to walk outside the entrance of the hospital and see them all sitting there puffing away.

"It's probably the habit that's put them in the hospital using up the beds and free health care in the first place. It's really sickening."

Topics:  editors picks paul pisasale smoking bans



Aussie teenagers lead way

SLICE AND DICE: Joel Parkinson slashes on his way to winning the Burleigh Single Fin.

Rising stars impress as Parko wins

Raiders' culture club rising in 2017

Tweed Coast have retained the nucleus of their senior side as they push for a top-three finish in 2017.

If we don't get a home semi-final this year we haven't down our job

Gallen honours Mustangs player with moving tribute

Paul Gallen holds up a special Mustangs jersey featuring Grant Cook

'Cronulla are thinking of you and good luck for the future'

Local Partners

Ruby Rose's gruelling training regimen to get xXx ready

From left, Kris Wu, Ruby Rose, Rory McCann, and Vin Diesel in a scene from the movie xXx: The Return of Xander Cage.

AUSSIE stars opposite Vin Diesel in xXx: Return of Xander Cage.

Why Emma Watson turned down Cinderella

Emma Watson in a scene from the movie Beauty and the Beast.

HARRY Potter star has standards when it comes to Disney princesses.

Wonder Woman a ‘disjointed disaster’, says DC insider

Gal Gadot in a scene from the movie Wonder Woman.

INSIDER says the much-hyped blockbuster will disappoint.

Kid nails Swift impersonation

Seven-year-old Xia Vigor nails Taylor Swift impersonation on the Philippine talent show Your Face Sounds Familiar Kids.

TAYLOR Swift has a seven-year-old doppelganger.

Puppetry of the Penis secrets revealed ahead of show

The famed Puppetry of the Penis is coming to the Sunshine Coast for shows in Noosa and Caloundra.

WARNING: This interview contains adult themes and traces of nuts

Ariana Grande 'hardest working 23-year-old on Earth'?

Ariana Grande

Not everyone was impressed with Grande’s self-proclaimed work ethic

Beautiful Terranora acreage

77 Mahers Lane, Terranora.

Check out this week's feature property.

Thousands of jobs part of $1b retirement village project

THIS YEAR: An artist impression of the new Aveo retirement village in Springfield.

Aveo Springfield unveiled this month, homes ready by July

KNIFE-EDGE: The housing tightrope we now face

Even the smallest interest rate rise will be hard for some to handle.

One if five home owners at risk, according to new analysis

'Difficult times': Rental prices tipped to increase in 2017

GREAT BUYS: There are some great rentals and houses to buy in South Gladstone. Head to gladstoneobserver.com.au for the top 10 homes under $100 to rent right now in the Gladstone region.

Investors may soon see a "profitable return” on properties.

Historical home leaves family's hands after 75 years

SALE CONFIRMED: The Gympie Regional   Realty team which sold the Ramsey property are (back) Mel Gastigar, Dorothy Palmer and Margaret Cochrane, with (front) home seller Terri-Jayne Ramsey.

Ramsey family played a huge role in Gympie's growth.

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!