HOT TOPIC: Smoking could be banned for those born after 2001
IF YOU are born after the year 2000 there could be a new law heading your way soon - no smoking.
An interstate Parliamentary Committee has found that there are no legal impediments to implementing a generation phase-out of cigarettes, effectively clearing the way for the state of Tasmania to push ahead with laws banning the sale of tobacco to those born after 2000.
Cancer Council Queensland has welcomed the finding, with CEO Professor Jeff Dunn AO claiming the move provided additional incentive for such a move in Queensland.
"Now, more than ever, a generational phase-out is within reach," Prof Dunn said.
"As such, we would welcome the Queensland Government's active consideration of a generational phase-out of cigarettes.
"Queensland is uniquely placed to be a global leader in this field, having recently introduced the most progressive smoke free laws of any jurisdiction in the world.
"Specifically, Cancer Council Queensland recommends the State Government commission an independent community consultation process to canvass public sentiment on the proposal for a generational phase-out of smoking in the form of a complete ban on the sale of cigarettes to all children born after 2001.
With the habit claiming the lives of two in every three smokers and about one Queenslander a day dying simply from second-hand smoke exposure, Prof Dunn said a generational phase-out must seriously be considered in order to protect future generations.
"This is one of the most serious threats to community health and the wellbeing of our next generation," Prof Dunn said.
"As a State - from Government to community organisations to individuals - we need to ask: are we doing enough?
"A generational phase-out could take the form of a complete ban on smoking for all children born after 2001.
"This would mean that young people turning 15 this year would never legally be allowed to smoke in Queensland - providing another measure to reduce the harmful toll of cigarettes.
"One thing is certain - our failure to take action today will burden our children tomorrow with tobacco-related debt and disease.
"Cancer Council Queensland is ready to protect our children. We are calling for even stronger action against smoking.
"We urge all Queenslanders to stand with us for a smoke free future and to support the recommendations of the World Health Organization and other leading global health agencies."
Around 12 per cent of Queensland adults smoke daily - 50,000 fewer people than in 2014. Research shows the majority of smokers want to quit.
Around 3700 Queenslanders die from a tobacco-related disease each year. About 370 of these deaths are caused by second-hand smoke exposure.
On September 1 2016, new laws will come into effect banning smoking at public transport waiting points, pedestrian malls, aged care facilities, specified national parks and at or near children's organised sporting events and skate parks in Queensland.
Smokers are urged to call the Quitline on 13 QUIT (13 7848) for help with quitting.