One state is cracking down on anti-smoking laws in an effort to choke out one of the state’s biggest killers.
New legislation will be introduced to Queensland parliament on Tuesday, including stronger enforcement of illicit tobacco sales and the expansion of smoke-free areas.
The proposed laws will also include the introduction of a licensing scheme and tougher restrictions on cigarette sales in licensed venues.
Cancer Council Queensland chief executive Andrew Donne said while the adult smoking rate had more than halved in the past two decades, smoking remained a leading cause of death.
New anti-smoking laws will be introduced in Queensland. Picture: Supplied
“Smoking remains the leading cause of preventable death and disease, with one in five cancers attributable to tobacco use,” he said.
Public Health Association of Australia chief executive Terry Slevin said many in the community thought “tobacco control is done”.
“It is not, and there is still more to do,” he said.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has vowed to expose the truth about e-cigarettes through the process of a parliamentary inquiry.
“This a big issue out there, everyone is talking about it,” she told Today on Monday morning.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the crackdown would include the expansion of smoke-free areas. Picture: NewsWire / Sarah Marshall
“Young kids are vaping in primary schools, high schools and of course adults and a lot of people think what they’re vaping is safe,” she said.
Studies have found vapes contain a cocktail of toxic chemicals, including nicotine – the highly addictive substance also contained in cigarettes.
The Premier sais she had heard reports that one vape could contain the equivalent of 50 cigarettes.
“We want the facts on the table,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“I want the health professionals to come forward and the companies to disclose what is actually in their products.”
Ms Palaszczuk said the government planned to make changes to the way vapes were sold to make it easier to for police to enforce the law.
“I think parents need to sit down and have an honest conversation with their children about this and I hope this parliamentary inquiry will allow them to be able to have those discussions when the truth comes out,” she said.
The laws will be introduced to parliament on Tuesday.