Qld govt set to further toughen smoking laws

Smokers could be banned from having a drink while lighting up in designated smoking areas of pubs, clubs and casinos in a proposed overhaul of laws in Queensland.

The state government has released a discussion paper to coincide with World No Tobacco Day in a bid to further reduce the state’s smoking rates.

The number of adults who smoke daily in Queensland has fallen from 24 per cent in 1998 to 10 per cent in 2020.


The smoking rate among 12 to 17-year-olds is 6.9 per cent.

Under the proposed changes, drinking would be banned in designated outdoor smoking areas (DOSAs), while venues could also be forced to move smoking areas further away from other patrons.

Children would also be banned from entering DOSAs.

The discussion paper has proposed banning people from lighting up in carparks provided for school community use, at outdoor markets and under-18 organised recreational events.

Retailers and wholesalers could also need a licence to sell tobacco products while cigarette vending machines would have to be moved behind the counter at pubs and clubs.

“In the past 20 years, we’ve seen the rate of smoking halve in Queensland, but there is more work to be done,” Health Minister Yvette D’ath said.

“Smoking is the leading preventable cause of death and disease in Queensland, so that’s why the Palaszczuk Government is delivering on our commitment to strengthen our anti-smoking efforts even further.

“We’re listening to small business stakeholders, especially when it comes to stamping out illicit product.

“We want to hear from Queenslanders, including small businesses, and we’ll advance our package of reforms based on the feedback to our Regulatory Impact Statement for introduction into the Queensland Parliament.”

Smoking is estimated to cost the Queensland community $27 billion each year.

It’s responsible for more than 66,000 hospitalisations and around 4000 deaths each year.