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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 7 Hansard (25 June) . . Page.. 2431..


Wednesday 25 June 2003

The Assembly met at 10.30 am.

(Quorum formed.)

MR SPEAKER

(Mr Berry) took the chair and asked members to stand in silence and pray or reflect on their responsibilities to the people of the Australian Capital Territory.

Smoking (Prohibition in Enclosed Public Places) Bill 2003

Mrs Cross

, pursuant to notice, presented the bill.

Title read by acting clerk.

MRS CROSS

(10.33): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

Mr Speaker, I am delighted to have the opportunity to table today this bill to prohibit smoking in enclosed public places. I was also delighted to find the government showing its support for this bill in advance when it tabled the discussion paper on just this issue last week. I will be very keen to see the result of the discussion paper process.

The health issues associated with smoking are well known, and I am sure that it is not necessary for me to go through all the intricate details at the moment. There are, however, some very important passive smoking issues which I will raise, as they have been raised for years in this place in the hope that eventually the government will practise what it preaches.

Children exposed to environmental tobacco smoke are 40 per cent more likely to suffer from asthma symptoms than children who are not exposed. An estimated 8 per cent of childhood asthma in Australia is attributable to passive smoking. Passive smoking is estimated to contribute to the symptoms of asthma in 46,500 Australian children a year.

Children exposed to environmental tobacco smoke during the first 18 months of life have a 60 per cent increase in the risk of developing lower respiratory illnesses such as croup, bronchitis, bronchiolitis and pneumonia. An estimated 13 per cent of lower respiratory illness in Australian children under 18 months of age, that's 16,300 cases per year, is attributable to passive smoking.

Those people who have never smoked themselves and who live with a smoker have a 30 per cent increased risk of developing lung cancer. This does not take into account other sources of environmental tobacco smoke exposure such as work and social settings. The risk of heart attack or death from coronary heart disease is about 24 per cent higher in never-smokers who live with a smoker. This does not take into account other sources of environmental tobacco smoke exposure such as work and social


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