Medical Professionals Online

AMA President Speech Awarding AMA/ACOSH Tobacco Scoreboard And Dirty Ashtray Award, Australia

July 31, 2017

Each year at Conference, the AMA highlights the work of governments in combating tobacco use in Australia - the good work and the not-so-good work.

I am pleased to announce today that for the second year in a row, the Commonwealth Government has been ranked first among Australian Governments for making the most progress on combating smoking during 2010-2011.

The Commonwealth Government is to be congratulated for its continued commitment to tobacco control and world-leading legislation to mandate plain packaging.

There can be no doubt that the Government, complemented by action by the States and Territories, is leading the world in tobacco control.

The Government has substantially increased excise duty, provided significant funding for population and targeted media programs, introduced the Tackling Indigenous Smoking Initiative, reduced ignition propensity cigarettes, and increased support for quitters.

Minister, on behalf of the AMA and ACOSH - the Australian Council on Smoking and Health " I present you with the AMA/ACOSH National Tobacco Scoreboard Award.

I am pleased to announce that this year we have a joint winner of this prestigious Award.

This year, the Commonwealth shares first place with the Western Australian Government.

The Western Australian Government led the State and Territory anti-smoking campaign with significant public education programs and a commitment to reject tobacco company donations.

Western Australia has introduced a ban on smoking in cars carrying children, placed tobacco products out of sight at point-of-sale, introduced smoke-free alfresco dining areas, mandated smoke-free children's playgrounds and smoke-free patrolled beaches.

I invite AMA WA President, Dr David Mountain, to collect this award on behalf of the WA Health Minister, Dr Kim Hames.

The next Award is the one that nobody wants - the Dirty Ashtray Award.

First, some good news for the other States and Territories - they will not be demonised this year.

I am happy to report that every State and Territory in the nation has made strong advances in tobacco control this year - congratulations to you all.

This year, for the first time, the Award goes to the tobacco industry for its desperate and deceptive campaign to oppose effective public health measures.

The tobacco industry's scurrilous campaign against plain packaging has been disgraceful even by the industry's own standards.

Big Tobacco has run scare campaigns, ranging from threats of litigation to grossly inflated claims about tobacco smuggling.

They are clearly worried about losing their last remaining avenue to advertise their products to children and adults alike.

Big Tobacco is trying to persuade the Australian Government and the Australian people out of an important public health measure.

The 2011 Dirty Ashtray Award goes to the tobacco industry.

We will have to arrange an appropriate presentation of this award - perhaps we could send them a plain package.

Australian Medical Association