Queensland Health has new powers following the passing of legislation through Parliament that strengthens anti-smoking and illicit tobacco laws.
The maximum penalty for supplying illicit tobacco will be $43,125 and the maximum penalty for storing illicit tobacco will be $20,125.
Minister for Health, Shannon Fentiman said her Department would now take control of ridding the community of illicit tobacco and cracking down on anyone who sold it with hefty fines.
“By streamlining the previous laws, I am confident health authorities will be able to move with more agility to target and prosecute illegal operators with one lead Agency taking up the fight,” Ms Fentiman said.
“I believe the new measures send a clear message to illegal suppliers that trading in illicit tobacco is no longer low risk with high reward — anyone growing, selling, or storing illicit tobacco will be caught and dealt with appropriately.”
Queensland Health is working with the Department of Justice and Attorney-General to introduce penalty infringement notices for many of the new offences under the Act, enabling use of ‘on-the-spot’ fines by authorised persons.
Ms Fentiman said this latest legislation followed the crackdown on vaping, e-cigarettes and businesses involved in selling e-cigarette products.
A parliamentary inquiry will shortly begin into vaping and e-cigarettes with a focus on children and teenagers.