Breathe easier at the Top Shops

Sandy Brosnan enjoying the fresh air outside the Top Shops Complex

Sandy Brosnan enjoying the fresh air outside the Top Shops Complex

Barb Rees

Owner, Sandy Brosnan, has taken the bold step of making her complex a smoke-free zone.

As Sandy explains, “The idea started with the Spring Festival, trying to work out a place that we could have a DOSA (Designated Outdoor Smoking Area) that met all the regulations. It was just impossible so we decided to direct people across the road. There was only one complaint all day….no one really minded. That got me thinking!”

In Queensland it is illegal to smoke within five metres of non-residential building entrances and smoking is not allowed at all in restaurants and any places selling food.

“After complaints about people smoking in front of the shop and in the Laundromat I decided to go for it and make the whole complex a smoke-free zone.”

Adds Sandy, “I realise I may upset some people but it is the law and it’s about time we started doing something about conforming.

“I am not anti-smoking, I just don’t want people smoking around this area. We have a physio and podiatrist in the end shop and soon will have a doctor’s surgery operating here as well. It just makes sense.

“The ideal would be for other businesses in town to follow suit and make the shopping precinct a smoke-free zone from the corner of Clarkson up to the Surf Club car park. We live in one of the most amazing places in the world, let’s bite the bullet,” states a determined Sandy.

“Let’s make Rainbow Beach great…..a tourism area to be proud of without the butts littering our streets, parks and beautiful beach.”

Smoking restrictions in National Parks start February 1

From 1 February 2017, smoking restrictions will apply to Queensland’s national parks. Smoking restrictions in parks are one of several Queensland Health initiatives to reduce smoking rates in Queensland, limit people’s exposure to second-hand smoke and make more outdoor places smoke-free.

Every year 3700 smokers in Queensland die from smoking-related diseases. Even passive smoking – breathing in the smoke from other people’s cigarettes – can adversely affect your health causing cancer and other life-threatening diseases.

For the benefit of all park visitors, smoking is now prohibited within 10 metres of most visitor facilities in national parks. This includes any picnic table, barbecue, shelter shed, toilet, in-use campsite, information centre, jetty, landing stage (such as pontoons) or boat ramp.

It doesn’t mean you cannot smoke or use e-cigarettes when visiting parks – it means you cannot smoke or vape close to facilities that visitors use, where people commonly gather.

Smoking is also illegal between the flags on a patrolled beach, where red and yellow flags mark the boundaries for safe swimming. The smoking ban includes the area between the flags and down to the water and then back behind the flags to any road or park.

The new smoking restrictions are being rolled out as part of Queensland Health’s changes to smoking laws in the Tobacco and Other Smoking Products Act 1998, to make public places smoke-free, including:

  • viewing and playing areas at organised under-18 sporting events, applies during training and at any breaks in play
  • non-residential building entrances (to government buildings, commercial buildings, shopping centres, banks and outdoor pedestrian malls) extends from 4 to 5 metres
  • within any part of a skate park
  • public swimming facilities, and includes the entire grounds inside the facility’s fence
  • children’s outdoor playground equipment that is ordinarily open to the public
  • all commercial outdoor eating or drinking areas in Queensland
  • major sports and event facilities and at major event facilities, except in a nominated outdoor smoking place

On-the-spot fines can apply.

For more information on smoking regulations go to

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