TOUGH NEW LAWS: Those who smoke on, or within five metres of health facilities and school grounds will face on-the-spot fines of at least $227 from January 1, 2015.
TOUGH NEW LAWS: Those who smoke on, or within five metres of health facilities and school grounds will face on-the-spot fines of at least $227 from January 1, 2015. Charlotte Lam

Smoking laws make 2015 time to butt out

WHITSUNDAY residents can now breathe easier around the Proserpine Hospital, health care facilities and local schools with the new laws enforced that threaten smokers with an on-the-spot fine if they are within five metres of the buildings.

From January 1, those who break the new law could be faced with fines from $227.

Mackay Hospital and Health Service chief executive Clare Douglas said the Proserpine community has traditionally been very respectful of its obligations not to smoke at the health facility.

"Not smoking is one of the very best things we can all do to protect our health. The new laws build on the requirements already in place for other public places like leisure and retail facilitates. Our patients, staff and visitors expect health services to help prevent illness and care for the sick and these new laws help ensure we can do that," she said.

The new laws apply to all public hospitals and healthcare facilities (including public community health centres, aged care facilities, mental health facilities and rehabilitation facilities) as well as private hospitals and day hospitals.

The laws also apply to all state and non-state primary and secondary schools.


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