Written by Catherine Butt, edited for online by Tegan Atkins
Cancel Council Queensland has called for people born after 2001 to never be allowed to smoke cigarettes.
Queensland’s already stringent anti-smoking laws will be extended to include more smoke-free public places including sporting events, taxi ranks, bus stops and more.
But Cancer Council Queensland spokesperson Katie Clift said the laws were not good enough and more needed to be done.
“We have called for the consideration of a generational phase out of smoking which would see children born after 2001 not be allowed to smoke,” she said.
“With young people turning 15 this year never legally being allowed to smoke (it would) put an end to the scourge of cigarettes in our state.”
Miss Clift said she was confident the public supported the Cancel Council’s proposal.
“What we do know is that majority of smokers want to quit and they would support laws and decisions like this that would see smoking no longer readily available to young people, discouraging the next generation from taking up the habit.”
QUT Law Faculty Professor Matthew Rimmer said the Australian Government needed to focus more on preventing the tobacco industry from recruiting a new generation of smokers.
“There’s been a long concern about how the tobacco industry has been targeting children and those at a young age,” he said.
“The tobacco industry is trying to replenish its customers who have been dying off or quitting through targeting younger customers.”
Mr Rimmer said the combination of plain packaging and tobacco taxes was highly effective in reducing smoking in Australia.
“Let’s see how that goes. We’ve gone from 30 per cent to 12 per cent of adults smoking daily in 15 years — I think that’s a significant improvement,” he said.
“Clearly smoking is becoming socially unacceptable in Queensland.”
The percentage of adult smokers halved over the past fifteen years from 30 per cent to 12 per cent.
Queensland Health Minister Cameron Dick said he was open to the idea of lifelong generational smoking bans but wanted to see the effects of the state’s new anti-smoking laws first.