Gallagher to tighten smoking bans
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Gallagher to tighten smoking bans

Labor has promised to increase the number of public places where smoking is banned if it returns to government after the October 20 ACT election.

Chief Minister and Health Minister Katy Gallagher said a Labor government would focus on pursuing restrictions on smoking and on improving public awareness of existing restrictions.

ACT Chief Minister Katy Gallagher has promised to increase the number of areas where smoking is banned if ACT Labor returns to government in the October election.

ACT Chief Minister Katy Gallagher has promised to increase the number of areas where smoking is banned if ACT Labor returns to government in the October election.Credit:Jay Cronan

Restrictions would be enforced at public swimming pools and playgrounds, sporting fields when children are present, covered bus interchanges, university campuses and large public gatherings and outdoor events.

''By prohibiting smoking at places where children frequent, such as playgrounds and sporting fields, we can minimise their exposure to environmental tobacco smoke which can be particularly harmful to children due to their smaller lung capacity and body weight,'' Ms Gallagher said.

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''They also have limited capacity to make decisions that enable them to remove themselves from situations or areas where adults may be smoking. This is also about sending the right message to our youngest citizens to discourage them from taking up the habit in the first place.''

Ms Gallagher used an address to an election forum organised by the Alcohol Tobacco and Other Drug Association ACT to promise $800,000 for smoking cessation programs aimed at Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander programs.

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The forum was told that the smoking rate in the ACT was only 11 per cent but it was much higher among low-income and indigenous people and 85 per cent of prisoners smoked. Ms Gallagher told the forum a Labor government would spend $1.4 million for an alcohol and drug treatment outpatient service.

Ms Gallagher, Liberal health spokesman Jeremy Hanson and Greens health spokeswoman Amanda Bresnan all told the forum that they were willing to consider the establishment of ''sobering up'' facilities for juveniles detained by police.

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