New smoking laws will ‘protect children’

The Independent MP Janet Woollard hopes new tobacco laws will help prevent another generation of West Australians dying from smoking-related cancers.

A bill introduced into Parliament calling for a ban on smoking in cars carrying children has passed the Upper House.

The bill also compels hoteliers to ban smoking in 50 per cent of their alfresco areas and prohibits retailers from displaying cigarettes at check out counters.

Dr Woollard says as a former nurse she drafted the bill to try to protect young people from the effects of smoking.

“I nursed people who were dying from tobacco-related illnesses you know 20 years ago, ” she said.

“I saw young women in their 30s dying because of tobacco related illnesses.

Because several amendments were made the bill will have to go back to the lower house before it can become law.

The director of the Australian Council on Smoking and Health, Stephen Hall, says his organisation has been campaigning against cigarette counter displays for a long time.

“It removes that one last remaining place where the industry can promote their product and entice new smokers and also recent quitters who are trying not to be tempted to purchase cigarettes,” he said.

RAC support

The RAC ‘S Matt Brown says he supports the news laws, but hope they won’t divert police resources away from pressing road safety issues.

“We support the new laws because we accept there will be a health benefit to children,” he said.

“But we don’t want to see police resources diverted away from the major road safety issues such as speeding and drink driving.”

© Copyright: Abc

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