Health groups welcome Qld's tough new smoking bans

HEALTH groups have welcomed the Queensland Government's wide-ranging ban on smoking.

Late on Tuesday night the parliament passed the Smoke-free Places Amendment Bill with bipartisan support.

The bill sees smoking banned at public transport stations, malls, aged care facilities, kindergartens and after-school care, certain national parks, public swimming pools and near children's sports and skate parks.

The smoke-free buffer zone outside all government, commercial and non-residential buildings will also increase from four to five metres.

Cancer Council Queensland spokesman Professor Jeff Dunn said the bill was a "historic moment" for public health.

"The new laws will safeguard Queenslanders from second-hand smoke, encourage more smokers to quit and prevent more young people from taking up this lethal habit," he said.

"Around one Queenslander a day tragically dies from second-hand smoke exposure - having never smoked a cigarette in their life."

The new laws will come into effect on September 1, 2016.

Health Minister Cameron Dick said the bill would protect the "most vulnerable Queenslanders" and said the laws would lead to a "healthier future".

"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," he said.

Shadow health minister Mark McArdle said the laws would save lives.

"This is all about helping smokers give up, ensuring young people don't take it up and protecting those who live or work in a smoking environment," he said.



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