SMOKING is about to become more costly in NSW, with smokers told to butt out in more outdoor areas in NSW, with new anti-smoking laws in effect from today.
Smoking is now illegal at children’s playgrounds, public transport stations, sporting fields, public pools and entrances to NSW public buildings.
If you get caught lighting up, it’ll cost you a $550 on-the-spot fine.
From 2015 the ban on smoking will extend to all commercial outdoor dining areas.
Heart Foundation cardiovascular health director Julie Anne Mitchell has welcomed the new laws.
“Every day, four people in NSW lose their life as a result of cardiovascular disease caused by smoking,” she said.
“This is an historic moment in our state’s history and one that will help to protect the thousands of people in NSW who don’t smoke.
“There is no safe level of exposure to second-hand smoke – evidence shows that a non-smoker’s exposure to second-hand smoke can result in an up to 30 per cent increase in risk of heart disease.”
Cancer Council NSW manager for policy and advocacy Anita Tang said the reforms would help protect people.
“These new measures will protect children, parents and the whole community from toxic second-hand smoke,” she said.
She said the new laws would also help reduce the likelihood of future generations becoming smokers.
Health and Medical Research Minister Jillian Skinner said smoking-related illnesses accounted for about 5200 deaths and 44,000 hospitalisations per year in NSW and cost the state about $8 billion annually.
“The distress that smoking inflicts on families, and the burden this imposes on the health system, is simply unacceptable,” she said.