SYDNEY, Feb. 1 (Xinhua) -- Changes to Australia's Queensland state smoking laws went into effect 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.
Anyone seen smoking within 10 meters of these visitor facilities will receive 243 Australian dollars (185 U.S. dollars) on the spot fine.
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 Australian, smoking indoors in any public area has been banned since 2004, in 2015 it was made illegal to smoke in any public dining areas.
Queensland's Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young has lent his support to the new laws and backed the state government's push to discourage the rate of smoking.
"Experience shows that strong smoking bans increase people's enjoyment of smoke-free public places and provide smokers with a clear understanding of where they should not smoke," she said.