Was quitting cigarettes one of your New Year’s resolutions, but you’ve not quite managed to get started? These stats on smoking fines dished out across Queensland might be the motivation you need to kick the habit.
According to Queensland Health, around 400 fines were handed out last financial year to smokers who chose to light up in smoke-free zones, racking up a staggering total of more than $104,000 in fines. 270 warning notices were also given.
Smoke free zones across the State include bus stops, taxi ranks and ferry terminals, with a caution or on-the-spot fine of $261 handed to people who breach a ban.
Queensland Health Executive Director of Preventative Health Kaye Pulsford said the fines were a tough but necessary reminder that smokers not only put themselves at risk of serious health problems, but also those around them.
“These latest figures tell us that Queenslanders need a reminder – Smoking in a smoke-free zone, whether it’s a tobacco cigarette or an electronic cigarette, is not only illegal, but it also puts yourself and others at risk,” Ms Puslford 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.”
Where to get help to kick the habit for good
According to Cancer Council Queensland, smoking remains the leading cause of preventable death and disease, including cancer, in the developed world.
In Australia, smoking causes approximately one in five cancer deaths, including more than 3400 deaths in Queensland each year.
Queensland Health offers a range of initiatives to help smokers butt out, including tailored programs through Quitline, and the QuitHQ website, where you can find stacks of information on the effects of smoking on yourself and others, and how to get started on your quit journey.
“Nicotine, whether it is in tobacco cigarettes or electronic cigarettes, is one of the most addictive substances known and it can be very difficult for people to quit,” Ms Pulsford said.
“No matter who you are, or how long you’ve been smoking, it’s never too late to become healthier and happier without cigarettes.”