Retailers face tighter tobacco display rules

By LEE McIVORlmcivor@gladstoneobserver.dyndns.org

'NO-ONE would be game to sell cigarettes to kids and with these new laws that is even more so,' said Steve Warwick.

Steve Warwick runs Harbour News on Goondoon Street and he was commenting on the new restrictions facing retailers for the sale of tobacco products.

The state government has stepped up its anti smoking laws with the introduction of tighter display restrictions for tobacco retailers and harsher penalties for selling to children

The newest phase of the state's anti smoking legislation will come into effect on New Year's Eve

The focus of the new laws is the sale and supply of tobacco products to children.

Under the new laws retail outlets can show only one smoking product display and they are not able to display cigarette cartons. As well the purchase of smoking products will no longer be able to accumulate shopper loyalty points such as FlyBuys or fuel discounts. People under the age of 18 who falsely represent their age in order to purchase smoking products will be liable for a $1500 penalty.

Health minister Stephen Robertson said this is the first time minors who pretend to be of legal age to purchase cigarettes will be fined.

'Smoking is a serious health risk and by law and popular demand we will continue to ramp up its restrictions to foster a healthier Queensland,' he said.

Enforcement of the new laws will begin at the end of March next year, after a three month education period to allow retailers to adapt to the changes.

'We have received our education kit regarding the new legislation,' said Mr Warwick.

'In fact we had to sign off on the package and acknowledge we had the kit and would abide by the changes.'

Mr Warwick said the changes to the way cigarettes are displayed wouldn't have any impact on sales.

'If someone smokes then they are still going to buy their cigarettes whether they are out on display or not,'' he said.

The new restrictions join a swag of changes during the year.

Smoking is no longer allowed between the flags on all patrolled beaches, within 10 metres of children's playground equipment, while standing within four metres of non-residential building entrances and at all sporting venues.



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