Commonwealth govt winning the fight against tobacco control

31 May, 2016

The Commonwealth Government has ranked first among Australian governments for making the most progress on combating smoking over the past 12 months.

Ahead of World No Tobacco Day on 31 May, AMA President Professor Brian Owler recently announced the results of the AMA/ACOSH National Tobacco Scoreboard in a ceremony at the AMA National Conference in Canberra.

The scoreboard allocates points to each State and Territory in various categories, including legislation, to track how effective governments have been at combating smoking in the previous 12 months.

"The Government should be commended for its continuing commitment to tobacco control and its plain packaging legislation, and world-leading fiscal policies," Professor Owler said.

"The Government is providing an exemplar role to other countries with its strong and continuing bi-partisan commitment to tobacco control with support for plain packaging legislation, including legal defence against tobacco industry opposition in international disputes.

"The United Kingdom, France and Ireland have all agreed to introduce plain packaging laws.

"However, there is always room to improve. The Government only marginally beat other States for the top honour, and only received an overall B grade for their efforts.

"The Commonwealth Government has not run a national media campaign to combat smoking since 2012 and support for Indigenous programs needs to improve."

Professor Owler said that he hoped the results of the National Tobacco Control Scoreboard would encourage governments to do more to combat tobacco use.