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Victoria and Queensland - joint dunces on tobacco control

24 May 2013

AMA NATIONAL CONFERENCE 2013 (Twitter:#amanatcon) 

AMA/ACOSH/ASH DIRTY ASHTRAY AWARD2013

VICTORIA AND QUEENSLAND – JOINT DUNCES ON TOBACCO CONTROL

Victoria and Queensland have jointly been awarded the 2013 Dirty AshtrayAward for their failure to act on proven tobacco control activities.

The Dirty Ashtray Award is presented each year in conjunction with the National Tobacco Scoreboard by the AMA, the Australian Council on Smoking and Health (ACOSH), and Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) to put a spotlight on governments who have failed to do enough to stop people smoking.

A week ahead of World No Tobacco Day on 31 May, AMA President, Dr Steve Hambleton, this evening announced the Dirty Ashtray results at the AMA National Conference in Sydney.

The National Tobacco Scoreboard Award goes to the State or Territory Government that has been the most effective in tobacco control over the past year, and the Dirty Ashtray Award goes to the Government that has been least effective.

Dr Hambleton said that some governments have completely dropped the ball on tobacco control over the past year.

“Smoking remains a leading cause of premature death and disease, but we have two governments virtually standing still on a vital public health issue,” Dr Hambleton said.

“The Victorian Government has earned the Dirty Ashtray title for its failure to take any new initiatives to curb smoking, and its flagging commitment to outstanding and proven tobacco control activities.

“The Victorian Government is the only government without either State-wide bans on smoking in outdoor dining areas, or a commitment to their introduction.

“The Queensland Government has jointly received the award following their lack of investment in tobacco control, with significant funding cuts, no social marketing since May 2012, and a drastically reduced public health workforce.

“The Queensland Government has done little to protect public health policy from tobacco industry interference, with continued investment of public money in the tobacco industry.

“All I can say is shame, Queensland and Victoria, shame.”

Dr Hambleton said it’s time for all governments to step up their commitment to combat tobacco control if they are to achieve the National Tobacco Strategy, which aims to get Australia’s smoking prevalence down to 10 per cent by 2018

“All governments are urged to ensure adequate investment in strong, comprehensive mass media-led campaigns to reduce Australia’s smoking prevalence,” Dr Hambleton said.

Dr Hambleton said he hopes that the strong message sent out to governments with these awards will speed up efforts to stamp out smoking and, more importantly, encourage people to give up the killer habit.

Other than the two High Commendations and the Dirty Ashtray Award for poorest performance, the States and Territories have not been ranked in order of achievement or lack of achievement this year.

Full summaries of the performances by the States and Territories are attached.

 

 

24 May 2013

 

CONTACT:                        John Flannery                           02 6270 5477 / 0419 494 761

                        Kirsty Waterford                                02 6270 5464 / 0427 209 753

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Published: 24 May 2013