News

Smoking ban ignites "Nanny State" debate

Is Queensland becoming a Nanny State?

This poll ended on 20 February 2013.

Yes, people need to take responsibility for their own actions - 69%

No, we need more rules to protect people from themselves - 19%

Things are fine how they are - 11%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

IPSWICH'S smoking ban has been described as a step towards a "nanny state" by civil libertarians, a claim dismissed by Mayor Paul Pisasale.

Queensland Council for Civil Liberties president Michael Cope said the Ipswich Mall was an open area where cigarette smoke could be avoided.

Ipswich City Council introduced a smoking ban in the mall this month, with the Ipswich Hospital announcing a similar ban for their grounds to be enforced later this year.

But Cr Pisasale reiterated his position, that smokers had abused the mall, blowing smoke into people's faces and leaving cigarette butts to be cleaned up by the community.

Mr Cope said smoking was a personal lifestyle choice and individuals would live with the consequences.

"Our position on smoking in public areas is that while we understand why these things are banned, our concern is it becomes the thin end of the wedge when it comes to being a nanny state," he said.

Cr Pisasale said Ipswich was not a nanny state and the council was not banning smoking.

"It's not a nanny state. Mr Cope doesn't know what he is talking about. It's a confined space where we are trying to create clean air," he said. "We have had constant complaints where people have misused the privilege and stubbed their butts into the ground or in gardens and the community have had to clean them up."

Ipswich City Council had issued on average 15 fines a day since their inception, and UQ Law School senior lecturer Dr Paul O'Shea said it would be hard to challenge the legality of the fine. He said only hard evidence proving public health was not at risk by smoking would overturn any fine.

"That could be an argument, that it was not just for public health reasons but for other reasons. But that's going to be difficult to prove," he said.

"It would be difficult for someone to challenge the law. If, however, evidence was produced that the threat to public health was non-existent the council would have a problem but I don't think that would be the case. The issue would be whether this law is just pursuant to the council's powers to preserve public health."

Dr O'Shea said the council's law-making ability extended to public health issues and not behavioural issues.

"They don't have powers to pass laws about public order or behaviour. The balance between individual rights and freedoms is, for the large part, left to elected officials and not to the courts."

Two thirds support smoking ban at hospital but others fume

SMOKING bans in the Ipswich Mall and more recently at the Ipswich Hospital have polarised Queensland Times readers.

A poll conducted on the QT website found 69% of readers supported the ban of smoking at the hospital, but those against the ban argued it was an over-reaction by authorities.

Kezza618 wrote that smokers were being discriminated against by being told where they could and couldn't light up.

"Well sorry to say, we are being 'discriminated big time!' There are many of us that do the right thing, put our butts where they are supposed to.

"We have followed all the rules that have been put in place and now this!"

WWilliams from One Mile said the bans were a little over the top.

"I'm a former smoker, and aware of the downside to the habit, but all these borderline hysterical reactions to it are increasingly reminiscent of a little Austrian corporal," he wrote.

Many readers supported the move by the Ipswich City Council and Mayor Paul Pisasale to protect the public from the health risk of passive smoking.

Newboy from Ipswich said banning smoking from places such as the Ipswich Mall was a positive for the community.

"Anything to restrict smoking is a good thing. Perhaps the chat room could use the ban in an educative way to encourage the young people not to smoke."

Ipswitchyite from Ipswich said smoking outside the hospital was not a good look for patients or staff.

"Good. It's really pathetic to walk outside the entrance of the hospital and see them all sitting there puffing away.

"It's probably the habit that's put them in the hospital using up the beds and free health care in the first place. It's really sickening."

Topics:  editors picks paul pisasale smoking bans



VIDEO: Snake bites city's own 'Steve Irwin' grandfather

WILDLIFE WARRIOR: Antonias Stappas, 76, was bitten on his fingers by a brown snake at his Redbank Plains home. Pictured with his daughter Seva Stappas and granddaughter Jorgina Reihana, 3.

Meet the 76-year-old who chased a snake, caught it and set it free

Nardya Miller honoured by her best friend

Nardya Miller passed away in January.

"She would have wanted something positive to come out of this."

Child safety intervention targets Ipswich families

A boy on bike and a car on the road

Program helps families safely care for their children at home

Local Partners

The true cause of the Oscars bungle

THE Oscars have ended with a moment that left everyone speechless — but not in a way anyone expected.

HUGE OSCARS FAIL: Wrong film handed Best Picture award

Presenter Warren Beatty shows the envelope with the actual winner for best picture as host Jimmy Kimmel, left, looks on at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. The winner was originally announced as La La Land, but was later corrected to Moonlight.

IN A monumental stuff-up, La La Land incorrectly named Best Picture.

Blue Heelers' Ditch Davey joins 800 Words cast

Ditch Davey joins the cast of 800 Words as Terry, the younger brother of George, played by Erik Thomson.

George Turner's brother, Terry, arrives to Weld with a 'few demons'

Oscars winners 2017: Full list of Academy Award winners

Viola Davis accepts the award for best actress in a supporting role for Fences at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.

WHO won Oscars this year? Here’s a full list of every winner.

Why can’t Nicole Kidman clap properly?

Nicole Kidman's style of clapping has puzzled Oscars viewers.

FOR some reason, it seems Nicole doesn’t really know how to clap.

Muslim actor makes Oscars history

Mahershala Ali accepts the award for best actor in a supporting role for Moonlight at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.

MOONLIGHT star Mahershala Ali makes Academy Award history.

NO ONE OFF LIMITS: Kimmel burns down the house at Oscars

Host Jimmy Kimmel speaks at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.

HOST delivers a torrent of abuse on Hollywood’s night of nights.

Mining homes dive: $600k homes sell for $120k-$300k

18 Yeates Street, Moranbah sold for $135,000 in December, after being repossessed by a bank. The owners bought for $545,000 in August, 2011.

The economy still has two speeds, but with a painful twist

Mackay's property market climbing like a Rocket Man

Renewed confidence in Mackay means more homes are being snapped up by those eager to plant their roots in the region.

There's movement in the real estate sector and it's all positive.

'Why we drove 800km to buy a treehouse with a disco ball'

The new owners have planned a few updates, but will stick with much of the original design.

A couple travelled almost 800km for the home of their dreams.

The trick homeowners are using to buy more properties

Chantelle Subritzky leaves her home each week for Airbnb guests.

Queenslanders are going down this path to help pay their mortgages

Stunning home blends South Pacific beauty with Orient style

Immaculate residence with two outdoor living areas

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!