Sydney, Feb 1 (IANS) Changes to Australia’s Queensland state smoking laws went into effect on Wednesday, putting restrictions on anyone lighting up in National Parks and public spaces.

The tough new legislation is not an outright ban on smoking in public but heavy regulations will restrict people smoking near pubic areas like picnic tables, toilet blocks, barbecue areas and campsites, Xinhua news agency reported.

Anyone seen smoking within 10 metres of these visitor facilities will have to pay a fine of 243 Australian dollars ($185).

Sporting fields, schools, outdoor pedestrian malls, hospitals, jetties, boat ramps, public transport stops and entrances to public buildings will also see the same restrictions enforced.

“These restrictions will protect the health and wellbeing of park visitors, and we hope smokers will consider their own health and the health of others and observe the new restrictions,” Queensland National Parks Minister Steven Miles said.

In Australia, smoking indoors in any public area has been banned since 2004. In 2015 it was made illegal to smoke in any public dining areas.

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