March 2, 2011 - Health Minister John Hill yesterday announced new, tough, anti-smoking regulations, in the latest bid to help people kick the habit which kills more than 1100 South Australians each year. One-in-five South Australians aged over 15 are smokers with three South Australians dying from tobacco related illnesses every day.
An interesting fact:Smoking will be banned near South Australian playgrounds and councils will be given powers to ban it in public. The changes, which also ban cigarettes being displayed in shops and service stations, will come into force in January, 2012.
South Australia led the nation by introducing a law prohibiting smoking in vehicles in the presence of people under 16 in May 2007, in a bid to protect children from passive smoking. South Australia to ban smoking in cars with young passengers, May 7, 2008..
Directly related news brief: South Australia enforcing law to protect children from passive smoke in cars...
The State Government wants to reach a point where smoking is only allowed in the home, claiming its new five-year South Australian Tobacco Control Strategy 2011-2016 is a step towards this. The strategy bans smoking under public transport shelters and covered waiting taxi areas, as well as within 10m of playgrounds.
The new five-year South Australian Tobacco Control Strategy 2011-2016 will be released for public comment later this month. SOUTH Australian Tobacco Control Strategy 2005 - 2010.
Smoking will be banned in bus, tram and train shelters, at taxi stands and near playgrounds under tougher restrictions to be introduced in South Australia.
The new measures will also allow local councils and other bodies to have events declared smoke-free while cigarettes will no longer go on display in shops or service stations from January next year.
Specialist tobacconists will have until 2015 to adjust to the new measures.
Health Minister John Hill said removing all tobacco products from display would remove a strong inducement for young people to take up smoking and would help ex-smokers stay on course.
He said the hospitality industry should also prepare for a time when smoking was banned in all outdoor eating and drinking areas.
"States and territories across Australia are moving inexorably towards smoke-free outdoor eating and drinking areas to protect the health and wellbeing of their staff and customers," Mr Hill said.
"Hotels and restaurants have already complied with the introduction in 2007 of smoking restrictions in all enclosed areas and many have provided outdoor areas for customers who want to smoke.
"However, our clear ambition is for 100 percent smoke-free outdoor eating and drinking in South Australia, and we want to achieve that by 2016."
Mr Hill said three South Australians died every day from tobacco-related illness and an estimated $2.39 billion was lost to SA's economy each year in health costs and lost productivity related to smoking. "Every smoker who gives up and every young person who decides not to start is a life potentially saved and these measures will contribute to that important goal," he said.
Cancer Council figures show 72 per cent of South Australians are concerned about passive smoking. Quit SA says most smokers have made a previous attempt to quit the habit and half intend to try and stop within the next six months.
References: SA public smokers gone in a puff, Tessa Akerman and Callie Watson, couriermail.com.au, 3/3/2011; Tougher anti-smoking measures for SA,Australian Associated Press (AAP), au.news.yahoo.com, 3/2/2011.
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