Promise To Extend Smoking Bans In Queensland,
'Smoking bans to spread further' (Headlines The Courier-Mail, 19/8/2004)

Queensland will have more smoke-free public places after a review of tobacco laws found overwhelming support for an extension of existing smoking bans. Premier Peter Beattie told Parliament yesterday the State Government had received more than 1200 submissions on the review, which would be further analysed to allow Health Minister Gordon Nuttall to make recommendations to Cabinet.

"While all 1200 submissions are now being analysed by Queensland Health, I am advised that there is overwhelming acceptance of a move to wider smoking bans," Mr Beattie said.

The move to extend the bans comes as the Health Determinants report, compiled by Queensland Health and released last night, showed there were, on average, 3402 smoking related deaths a year between 1999 and 2001.

"This represents 19% of all male deaths and 10% of all female deaths in Queensland," the report said.

Between 1999-2000 and 2001-2002, Queensland Health recorded an average of 30,453 hospital stays a year related to smoking.

The lung cancer death rate among Queensland men is 7% higher than the national rate and although the incidence rate for men is decreasing at a rate of about 1.5% a year, the incidence rate for women is increasing by 2.5%.

The discussion paper for the review, released in May, showed the Government would consider:

Mr Beattie would not foreshadow Cabinet's likely decision, nor outline the possible implementation period for any new bans, but said the Government was "fully committed to tobacco reform".

At present, smoking bans do not cover the entrances of non-domestic buildings, most outdoor sport venues, high-roller gaming rooms and private residences. Restrictions vary for al fresco dining areas and enclosed licensed areas.