IN ANOTHER blow for smokers it may soon be illegal to smoke at your own home.
If a coffee and cigarette is your morning ritual, it is now under threat by a new proposition to ban smoking completely in homes - even on balconies.
Spearheaded by the Cancer Council, the group has urged the Queensland Government to enact a blanket-ban on smoking in units and apartments ahead of the next State Election, following hundreds of community complaints on the issue.
The organisation's submission to the Property Law Review recommends body corporates be given the power to enact smoke-free by-laws, including banning smoking completely, consistent with other Australian states.
Cancer Council Queensland CEO Ms Chris McMillan has called on the Government to provide Queenslanders with greater protection against the harms of smoke-drift in multi-unit dwellings.
"It is essential that all people living in community titles schemes have appropriate and equal access to avenues for addressing smoke-drift,” Ms McMillan said.
"Among our recommendations to the review, we would like to see the Government empower body corporates to ban smoking completely, by majority vote.
"We have also recommended provision of a dispute resolution service in relation to complaints about smoke-drift, through the Commissioner for Body Corporate and Community Management, in addition to funding for the promotion of smoke-free homes.”
Second-hand smoke has many negative effects including lung cancer, coronary heart disease, stroke, nasal irritation and reproductive effects in women.
Children who frequently breathe in second hand smoke risk middle ear disease, respiratory symptoms, impaired lung function, lower respiratory illness and sudden infant death syndrome.
The Cancer Council's submission follows a state-wide survey proving that Queenslanders want a full ban on smoking in the community once and for all.
"Now is the time to take tougher action against the scourge of smoking, to protect our next generation from the deadly impacts of tobacco,” Ms McMillan said.
"Our research shows 70 per cent of Queenslanders support a total ban on smoking in multi-unit dwellings, including balconies.
"Half of all respondents to our survey living in multi-unit dwellings are affected by smoke drift, and 55 per cent are extremely concerned about the health risks.”
If you or someone you know needs support to quit contact Quitline on 13 QUIT (13 7848).
Smoke free laws in Queensland
The amendments to the Tobacco and Other Smoking Products Act 1998 were passed on February 23, 2016 and came into effect on 1 September 2016.
The new tobacco laws:
. Ban smoking at or near under-age organised sporting events and skate parks.
. Ban smoking in and around approved early childhood education and care facilities, including kindergartens and places offering after school hour care.
. Ban smoking at all residential aged care facilities outside of nominated outdoor smoking places.
. Increase the smoke-free buffer at all government, commercial and non residential building entrances from four to five metres.
. Ban smoking at pedestrian precincts around prescribed State Government buildings.
. Ban smoking at prescribed national parks or parts of parks.
. Ban smoking at public swimming pools.
. Ban smoking at all outdoor pedestrian malls and public transport waiting points.
. Empower local government to ban smoking in any other public space, including on any street or park.
. Ban the sale of tobacco products from temporary retail outlets, such as at music festivals.
. The laws also include electronic cigarettes as they are classified as smoking products.