CANCER Council Queensland has called on the State Government to ban smoking in designated public places, with new research revealing 10 Queenslanders die every day from smoking-related illness and disease.
The research, disclosed by Chief Health Officer Dr Jeanette Young in an interview with ABC Queensland research, found a sharp increase in the prevalence of smoking among Queenslanders aged between 25 and 34 years old.
Cancer Council Queensland spokesperson Katie Clift said that while recent government campaigns have made inroads, the addition of more smoke-free spaces would help to end the death toll.
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“This trend defies the declines we have seen in other age groups, with 28 per cent of men in the 25-34 age bracket now smoking every day, compared with 19.8 per cent in 2012,” Clift said.
“Among women in the 25-34 age bracket, the rate of smoking has increased from 12.8 per cent to 16.7 per cent.
“The State Government’s recent smoking campaigns have proven effective, but campaigns must go hand-in-hand with legislated smoke free public environment.
“The sooner we have smoke free spaces, the faster we will get to a smoke free future and end the tragic death toll of tobacco.”
Statistics suggest smoking rates in Queensland have halved over the past 25 years, a trend the Cancer Council attributes to Government actions.
However, Cancer Council Queensland has cautioned that the latest data confirms more needs to be done.
“10 deaths every day is a tragic figure that dwarfs other causes of preventable and premature deaths,” Clift said.
“About one death a day is caused by second-hand smoking, a heartbreaking statistic that reinforces the need to protect people from the harmful effects of second-hand smoke.
“We know that the majority of Queenslanders support smoke free spaces and want protection from the lethal effects of smoking.
“State Government action on smoking has been strong, but smoke free spaces are desperately needed.”
Currently, around 500,000 people smoke each day in Queensland.