State Health Minister Cameron Dick says he plans to not only support but expand a bill to ban smoking in public areas.
The Heart Foundation has called on him to go even further and ban all smoking in pubs and bars.
Tom Fowles reports.
Gone, in a puff of smoke.
Scenes like these may soon be a rarity on Brisbane streets.
Some are calling it a win for common sense.
Alison Durham, Heart Foundation: “We have been supporting these bans for many years, particularly the bans on smoking in pedestrian malls and at public transport waiting stations.”
The private member’s bill introduced by Shadow Health Minister Mark McArdle gets the tick of approval from the Heart Foundation.
But it’s their proposal to extend the ban to designated smoking areas in bars that’s ignited debate.
Health Minister Cameron Dick has voiced his interest in extending the ban
Cameron Dick, Qld Health Minister: “I’ll be talking to my cabinet colleagues about that, we’re considering that in government.”
The public, is divided.
Vox 1: “No, I don’t think they should be allowed to smoke.”
Vox 2: “Banning it in public places and stuff like that, I don’t have a problem with that. But I think banning them in pubs and stuff, if we’re keeping to one area, I don’t see what the problem with that is.”
The social cost of doing away with smoking in pubs a small price for keeping Australia’s young healthy.
Alison Durham, Heart Foundation: “We have a terrible situation where younger people are smoking at significant rates, and one-third of young men in the 20-30 age group are actually smoking. They’re nearly a third of our population.”
Local bans have been implemented in Queen Street Mall for years now, but have proved difficult and costly to enforce.
Some members of the public think the State Government should butt out.
Vox 3: “I’m sure some people will stop, but not myself. It’s not the reason I smoke. If I could stop just because I can’t smoke somewhere I would, but that’s not the reason I smoke.”
3,400 Queenslanders die every year from smoking.
A sign that the problem is not yet in hand.
Tom Fowles, QUT News.