I am
Qld election: Health bodies push to stamp out second-hand smoke in CBDs, unit blocks
heartfoundation.org.au|Helpline 13 11 12

Qld election: Health bodies push to stamp out second-hand smoke in CBDs, unit blocks

Media Release - 8 October 2020

Leading health organisations are urging the incoming Queensland government to ban smoking in city centres across the Sunshine State and introduce laws to manage smoke-drift at unit blocks.

As this month’s state election draws near, the Heart Foundation and Cancer Council Queensland are calling for more smoke-free places and tougher tobacco retail laws to further protect the public from second-hand smoke and cut smoking rates.

Queensland Health figures show one in nine adults smokes daily, with smoking rates climbing past this state average in many regional areas (see table with local statistics below).

Heart Foundation Queensland CEO, Stephen Vines, says stronger smoke-free laws will help keep people healthy in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis.

Smoking damages your heart as well as your lungs, and exposure to second-hand smoke raises the risk of heart disease by about 30%. Early evidence suggests people who smoke may also be more vulnerable to contracting COVID-19, and to experiencing more severe illness from the virus.

“Heart disease remains our single biggest killer, and stronger laws to tackle tobacco will be a key part of protecting Queenslanders’ heart health,” Mr Vines said.

“Great progress has been made to protect Queenslanders from other people’s smoke, but there’s still work to be done. Making town centres smoke-free will help protect the public from second-hand smoke while encouraging smokers to kick the habit.”

Mr Vines said non-smokers were also being exposed to second-hand smoke while living in their own homes due to neighbours lighting up on balconies and in common areas at unit blocks. More than 350,000 Queenslanders live in apartments, representing almost 12% of all homes.

“People often have no power to change this situation. With more Queenslanders now likely to be working from home more often, it’s time to bring in legislation allowing a body corporate to pass its own enforceable by-laws to regulate smoking at apartment blocks.”

The health charities are calling for the next government to roll out a raft of measures, including: 

  • Banning smoking in city centres across the state;
  • Introducing laws to manage smoke-drift at unit blocks;
  • Phasing out designated outdoor smoking areas at pubs and clubs;
  • Banning under-18s from selling cigarettes;
  • Removing cigarette-vending machines from licensed venues;
  • Setting up a tobacco retail licensing scheme to monitor who is selling the drug; and
  • Banning smoking inside casino high-roller rooms.

Cancer Council Queensland CEO Ms Chris McMillan said the organisations are calling for stronger tobacco legislation reforms through the extension of statewide smoke-free places in Queensland.

“It is vital that smoke-free legislation is supported through strong public communication and enforcement, and we would welcome further action in this area to maintain our smoke-free environments and protect our community,” said Ms McMillan. 

“Smoke-free laws give people the freedom to go to work, study and do other daily activities like walking or playing sport, without being exposed to second-hand smoke. 

“The majority of Queenslanders are now non-smokers, and studies of community attitudes towards smoking have found increasingly high levels of support for broadening restrictions on smoking in Queensland, due to growing awareness of the harms.” 

The Queensland state election is due to be held on 31 October.

People thinking about quitting smoking should speak with their doctor or call the Quitline on 13 78 48.

Smoking rates around the state

Percentage of adults who smoke daily, by Hospital and Health Service:

  • Central West – 20%
  • South West – 17%
  • Wide Bay – 16%
  • North West – 15%
  • Cairns and Hinterland – 15%
  • West Moreton – 15%
  • Mackay – 15%
  • Central Queensland – 14%
  • Torres and Cape – 13%
  • Townsville – 12%
  • Darling Downs – 12%
  • Queensland – 11%
  • Metro South – 11%
  • Gold Coast – 10%
  • Metro North – 10%
  • Sunshine Coast – 9%

Source: Report of the Chief Health Officer Queensland 2018

Media enquiries

Brigid Simeoni, Media Advisor, Heart Foundation
M: 0427 619 589 E: brigid.simeoni@heartfoundation.org.au

Brianna Burraston, Senior Public Relations Coordinator, Cancer Council Queensland
M: 0428 580 363 E: briannaburraston@cancerqld.org.au 

More Australians die of Heart Disease than any other cause.

More Australians die of Heart Disease than any other cause.

More Australians die of Heart Disease than any other cause.

And the heartache lasts a lifetime. But you can help the Heart Foundation fund life-saving research to keep more families together....

Heart Health Check Toolkit

Heart Health Check Toolkit

Research Directory

Research Directory

Confidential. Personal. Reliable.

Confidential. Personal. Reliable.

Confidential. Personal. Reliable.

Got a question about your heart?...

David’s shock heart failure diagnosis was just the start of a tough journey

David’s shock heart failure diagnosis was just the start of a tough journey

David’s shock heart failure diagnosis was just the start of a tough journey

David's heart failure diagnosis led to significant changes in his life....

Exercise boosts artery health in middle-aged and older men, not testosterone therapy

Exercise boosts artery health in middle-aged and older men, not testosterone therapy

Exercise boosts artery health in middle-aged and older men, not testosterone therapy

Media Release - 22 February 2021...

9 food and heart health myths, busted

9 food and heart health myths, busted

9 food and heart health myths, busted

Let’s dive into nine common food and health myths and the facts behind them....

Italian recipes

Italian recipes

Italian recipes

Find heart healthy Italian recipes....

WEBINAR | The future of CVD risk assessment

WEBINAR | The future of CVD risk assessment

WEBINAR | The future of CVD risk assessment

Should population-based CVD risk assessment models make way for individualised risk prediction techniques?...

Remember a loved one with a tribute

Remember a loved one with a tribute

Remember a loved one with a tribute

Honour the life of a loved one with a donation to the Heart Foundation. Your donation offers hope for Australian hearts....

Heart Week

Heart Week

Kids recipes

Kids recipes

Kids recipes

Find heart healthy kids recipes...

Join Kate in making a difference to future generations

Join Kate in making a difference to future generations

Join Kate in making a difference to future generations

Kate wanted to find a way she could make a difference to future generations...

Cardiomyopathy; another health curveball for Ange

Cardiomyopathy; another health curveball for Ange

Cardiomyopathy; another health curveball for Ange

A story from Ange Foster ...

Breakfast recipes

Breakfast recipes

Breakfast recipes

Heart healthy breakfasts to start your day right...

Queensland Cardiovascular Research Network

Queensland Cardiovascular Research Network

Queensland Cardiovascular Research Network

QCVRN provides a framework to strengthen cardiovascular research in Queensland...

Women and heart disease

Women and heart disease

Women and heart disease

Information and resources for health professionals....

How your heart works

How your heart works

How your heart works

Your heart is a muscle that pumps blood to all parts of your body. The blood gives your body the oxygen and nourishment it needs to work properly. ...

Blood cholesterol

Blood cholesterol

Blood cholesterol

Keeping your blood cholesterol at a healthy level can help you reduce your risk of heart disease and other serious conditions. ...

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk assessment and management

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk assessment and management

Absolute CVD risk assessment is an integrated approach that estimates the cumulative risk of multiple risk factors to predict a heart attack or stroke event in the next five years....

WEBINAR | Absolute CVD risk assessment practical update

WEBINAR | Absolute CVD risk assessment practical update

A multidisciplinary panel of experts discuss the practical application of absolute CVD risk assessment through Heart Health Checks....

Healthy chicken fajitas

Healthy chicken fajitas

20 minutes
Serves 4

Philanthropic investments

Philanthropic investments

Philanthropic investments

Making philanthropic investments through the Heart Foundation can transform Australians’ health. ...

Physical activity after a heart attack

Physical activity after a heart attack

Physical activity after a heart attack

Discover what you need to know about being active after a heart attack....

Lipid management clinical information and resources

Lipid management clinical information and resources

Lipid management resources for health professionals...

What is a healthy body weight?

What is a healthy body weight?

What is a healthy body weight?

Find out what a healthy body weight is and the steps you can take to achieve it. ...

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples: Lower your risk of heart disease

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples: Lower your risk of heart disease

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples: Lower your risk of heart disease

Support and resources to help you stay healthy and reduce risk of heart disease. ...

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples: Heart Health Projects

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples: Heart Health Projects

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples: Heart Health Projects

Projects aimed at improving the heart health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples ...

Loaded veggie shepherds pie

Loaded veggie shepherds pie

Loaded veggie shepherds pie

1 hour
Serves Serves 4 (as a main meal)

Create your fundraiser at Do it for Heart

Create your fundraiser at Do it for Heart

Create your fundraiser at Do it for Heart

Become a Heart Foundation fundraiser, do it for heart and make a real difference to your community....