On 23 February 2016 the Queensland Government passed new laws to strengthen the existing anti-smoking laws currently in place throughout the state. The intention behind the new anti-smoking laws is to further protect Queensland residents by reducing public areas in which smoking can occur and placing further restriction on the sale of tobacco products.
The new anti-smoking laws were contained in the Tobacco and Other Smoking Products (Smoke-Free Places) Amendment Bill 2015 (Qld) which amended the Tobacco and Other Smoking Products Act 1998 (Qld). As a result of the implementation of the new laws, the following will be introduced:-
- A ban on smoking at or near children’s sporting events and skate parks;
- A ban on smoking in or around early childhood education and care centres, including kindergartens and after school care facilities;
- A ban on smoking at aged care facilities outside of designated areas;
- An increase of the smoke-free buffer around entrances to government, commercial and non-residential buildings from four meters to five meters;
- A ban on smoking at designated national parks and public swimming pools;
- A ban on smoking at outdoor pedestrian malls and public transport waiting points;
- A ban on the sale of tobacco products at pop up retail outlets such as music festivals; and,
- Provide local government the ability to ban smoking in any other public space.
The maximum fine for contravention of the new anti-smoking laws is $2,200.00.
The new anti-smoking laws are due to come into effect from 1 September 2016. Queensland Health has released statistics which show that smoking rates amongst Queenslanders have dropped to their lowest recorded level. The Government has reported that as at the end of 2015 only 12% of adults were daily smokers which equated to a 2% reduction from the same time in 2014.
If you require any further information in relation to the new anti-smoking laws and how you may be impacted, please do not hesitate to contact one of our experienced team members.