Up in smoke

Queenslanders cough up thousands in smoking fines.

Despite the warnings, Queenslanders continue to illegally smoke in public places and have racked up more than $104,000 in fines.

More than 670 fines and warnings were dished out in the past financial year to smokers who lit up in smoke-free zones such as bus stops, taxi ranks and ferry terminals.

Smokers caught lighting up in a designated smoke-free zones face an on the spot fine of $261.

Queensland Health’s Preventative Health Branch Executive Director Kaye Pulsford said the fines were a tough, yet necessary, reminder that smokers not only put themselves at risk, but the people around them.

“In 2017-18, 400 infringement notices were issued and 270 warnings were given,” Ms Pulsford said.

“This means more than 700 people were smoking in a place they were not supposed to, putting thousands of others at risk because of second-hand smoke.”

Ms Pulsford said smoking tobacco or electronic cigarettes in a smoke-free zone put everyone at risk.

 

“The vast majority of Queenslanders are non-smokers yet continue to be exposed to second-hand smoke in public places,” she said.

 

“Our environmental health officers regularly respond to complaints by the public when people light up in no-smoking areas.

“We understand giving up smoking is hard. But where and when you smoke is a choice.

“Our aim is to protect non-smokers from the dangerous effects of second-hand cigarette smoke, while also providing support for smokers to quit for good.”

Smoking bans are in effect across Queensland and cover a range of public places where adults and children frequent. A full list of smoke-free zones can be found here. 

If you would like to quit smoking, the Queensland government has a range of initiatives available. You can also contact Quitline on 13 78 48.