The Cancer Council in Queensland is now appealing for the state government to consider enacting a smoking ban for anyone who was born after the year 2001.
Calls for a smoking ban came after the state’s chief health officer Jeannette Young encouraged families to prohibit smoking in their own homes, according to ABC News.
Professor Jeff Dunn, the chief executive for Cancer Council Queensland, said that the existing anti-smoking laws must be taken further and that all children must be protected from the dangers of second-hand smoke.
Dunn added that implementing the proposed 2001 birth ban this year would mean anyone turning 15 this 2016 will no longer be lawfully permitted to smoke.
“We do need to have a conversation in our community about what is next,” he said. “How do we rid Queenslanders of the scourge of tobacco-related death and disease?”
However, Health Minister Cameron Dick said that he wanted to see the effect of the new smoking laws, which bans smoking near youth sporting events, skate parks, public swimming pools, pedestrian malls and childcare centers.
Dick insists that this must be observed first before considering imposing an age ban, according to the Brisbane Times.
“Let’s see how that goes. We’ve gone from 30 per cent to 12 per cent of adults smoking daily in 15 years — I think that’s a significant improvement,” he said. “Clearly smoking is becoming socially unacceptable in Queensland.”
It was only three months ago that Queensland introduced tougher anti-smoking laws that consists of banning the selling of tobacco products. This will focus on all pop-up retail outlets, as well as public events such as music festivals.
Opposition health spokesperson Mark McArdle had said that the measures have been hard to execute because there are still relentless hardcore smokers out there, but believed that the ban on smoking in public areas will help save many lives.