SMOKE SIGNS: New legislation would put Queensland at the front of anti-smoking laws in Australia.
SMOKE SIGNS: New legislation would put Queensland at the front of anti-smoking laws in Australia. Chris Ison

Smokers to be forced away from skate parks, junior sports

QUEENSLAND is set to have some of the toughest anti-smoking laws in the country with new legislation introduced to parliament.

The proposed laws would ban smoking within 10 metres of children's organised sporting events and skate parks, and within five metres of early childhood education facilities such as kindergartens, and out of school care centres.

Aged care facilities, pedestrian malls, bus stops and train stations and some national parks would also be made smoke-free by the proposed changes.

Keith Clarke is a former president of the Warwick Redbacks Australian Football Club and said most parents would be happy to see the laws come into affect at children's sporting events.

"I think most parents are very responsible and aware that smoking and junior sport should not mix," he said.

"I'd definitely be happy to see the laws come in. We already have designated smoking areas removed from the fields - that's always been our intent."

Queensland Cancer Council's Katie Clift said the new smoking laws set a benchmark for the rest of the country.

"We think it's particularly important to have seen these bans extended to places like national parks, pedestrian malls, public transport waiting points," she said.

"You know hotspots that the public use on an everyday basis across Queensland, they need to be safeguarded in those areas."

Each year 3700 Queenslanders die as a result of smoking.

It is estimated that smoking costs the state economy $6.1 billion in lost productivity annually.



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