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Smoking no longer part of the show

Queensland’s largest annual event, the Royal Queensland Show (Ekka) is going smoke free!

The decision to provide visitors to this year’s Ekka with a smoke-free environment is one Queensland Health has thrown its support behind.

Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young commended Ekka organisers for their commitment to creating a healthier Queensland.

"Queensland Health is pleased to be working with the RNA to create a smoke-free Ekka," Dr Young said.

"Each year in Queensland about $6.1 billion in health costs, lost productivity and premature death can be attributed to tobacco smoking.

"We also know that one in 10 people who die from smoking related illness are as a result of secondhand smoke.

"These changes are the latest step in a series of moves towards a smoke-free Queensland.

"In the past there have been 13 designated smoking areas within the Ekka but this year these will be removed.’"

Dr Young said the public could expect widespread quit smoking advertising to run on television, radio, social media and in newspapers in the lead up to August 7.

"The successful quit smoking campaign All by Myself will also be advertised at the event to remind people that one person’s decision to smoke can have a big impact on their loved ones.

"We also want to remind people that they don’t have to miss out on events like the Ekka if they smoke. Support is available for all Queenslanders who wish to quit smoking by contacting the Quitline service 13 Quit (13 7848).

RNA Chief Executive Brendan Christou said the show was pleased to be creating a smoke-free environment for its patrons to enjoy in line with major events domestically and internationally.

"Each year tens of thousands of Queensland families come to the Ekka so we want to be able to create a safe and healthy environment for each and every one of them," he said.

"Designated smoking areas will no longer be available within the showgrounds precinct during the Ekka.

"Those wishing to come to the show and smoke will need to leave the showgrounds and access five offsite smoking areas located outside of the showgrounds."

Mr Christou said the Ekka was the third Royal Agricultural Show in Australia to become smokefree, following the Royal Perth Show and the Royal Hobart Show.

"In Queensland it is well established that you can’t smoke in outdoor places that families frequent such as patrolled beaches, near children’s playground equipment or in the Queen Street Mall," he said.

"As the state’s biggest event held across 22 hectares, creating a smoke- free environment for 10 days of the show is important as the health and well-being of our Ekka patrons is our highest priority."

If you're thinking about quitting, you don't have to do it alone. Call 13 Quit (13 7848) for more information on how you can quit before August 7.

Last updated: 18 May 2015