Tobacco laws in Queensland are aimed at promoting a culture that will support smokers trying to quit, will reduce non-smokers exposure to second-hand smoke, and also discourage children from taking up the habit of smoking. Research has shown that creating no-smoking areas helps smokers to quit smoking, and positively encourages children to not start smoking.
New anti-smoking laws are due to come in to effect from 1 September 2016 due to the Queensland Government passing the Tobacco and Other Smoking Products (Smoke-free Places) Amendment Act 2016. The new legislative changes mean that a person must not smoke:
- at a major sports facility (excluding a road or carpark, or a picnic area or area of parkland, of a major sports facility);
- at a public swimming pool;
- at an early childhood education and care facility, and within a buffer zone of 5 metres of the boundary of such a facility;
- within a prescribed government precinct;
- within 5 metres of an entrance to a non-residential premise (increased from 4 metres previously). This includes entrances to shopping centres, banks, commercial buildings, government buildings, and other non-residential buildings;
- at a public transport waiting point (such as bus stop, train station, ferry terminal, taxi rank), and within a buffer zone of 5 metres of such a waiting point.
- at any skate park, and within a buffer zone of 10 metres of any skate park;
- at an organised under-age sporting event, and within a buffer zone of 10 metres of the boundary of such an event. The smoking ban includes during intervals or breaks in play, and also organised practice sessions for under-age sport;
- at an outdoor pedestrian mall;
- at a prescribed national park, or part of a national park; and
- at a residential aged care facility, and within a buffer zone of 5 metres of the boundary of such a facility. However, part of an outdoor area at a residential aged care facility may be designated as a ‘nominated smoking place’.
These smoking bans encompass all smoking products, including regular cigarettes and electronic cigarettes. Authorised officers are able to issue individuals caught contravening the new anti-smoking laws with warnings, and on-the-spot fines in the form of an infringement notice. Current on-the-spot fines for individuals smoking in area where it is prohibited are set at $243.80.
From 1 September 2016, a supplier must not sell smoking products from a temporary retail store. A temporary retail store can mean a booth, tent, market stall or stand, or a vehicle or mobile structure.
It is important to note from these legislative changes that, where Queensland law does not regulate smoking at an outdoor public place, the local government may make a local law for their local government area.
If you have any questions on these amendments and how they might affect you, please contact our office and arrange to speak to one of our solicitors.