Chief Executive Officer
Action on Smoking and Health Australia Pty Ltd
Tel: 02 93341876, Fax: 02 93341742, Mobile: 0417 227879
Anne Jones has been Chief Executive Officer of Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) Australia since 1994.
Founded and funded by the Cancer Council and the Heart Foundation, ASH is a well known media advocacy organisation committed to improving government policies to reduce deaths, chronic diseases and social costs caused by smoking and smoke exposure.
ASH has helped increase capacity for tobacco control with the formation of Smokefree Australia coalition (11 partners) in 2002 – see SmokeFree Australia; and the Protecting Children from Tobacco coalition (40 partners) in 2006 – see Protectong Children from Tobacco.
From 2006 Anne has worked for approximately three months a year in China, Vietnam and elsewhere in the Asia-Pacific, working for the WHO and as a Technical Adviser in Tobacco Control for the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease as part of the Bloomberg Initiative to reduce the tobacco epidemic worldwide.
She has consistently prioritised the rights and needs of the most disadvantaged and vulnerable – particularly lower income nations, children and youth, Indigenous and CALD communities, low-income and low-security workers, and people with disabilities.
Anne has used a range of strategies for achieving tobacco control aims - including seeking meetings for political advocacy, making submissions to reviews and inquiries, media releases and alerts, organising public rallies, demonstrations and other events, shareholder advocacy, building NGO coalitions, creative collaboration with journalists/photographers/graphic designers, creative website development, networking through various media, working with tobacco-affected individuals to bring relevant personal experiences to media and decision-makers’ attention, making complaints to health and consumer authorities and to businesses and media, devising satire and street theatre events, developing hard-copy and online resources, and more.
For examples of Anne’s creative ideas, see ASH’s Tobacco-free Campus survey and resource project at Campus Survey and the Protecting Children from Tobacco coalition and resources at www.ashaust.org.au/lv3/action_POS.htm.
Anne has been the personification of persistence throughout her fifteen years’ fulltime work at ASH - and she began her contribution to tobacco control before that, as an adviser to a NSW MP. She has worked long hours, contributing an enormous amount of her personal time and energies, making herself available at all hours for media comment.
She has followed through consistently – for example, from making the first “Light/Mild” complaint to the ACCC in 1998 to achievement of the terms being banned in 2005; and from being involved in the start of the campaign for smokefree pubs and clubs in NSW as far back as the mid-90s to advocating long and hard in all jurisdictions until total indoor bans were in force – NT expected to be the last in January 2010. Anne continues to advocate for 100% smokefree workplaces, indoors and out.
She is now demonstrating the same persistence in achieving out-of-sight retail legislation – starting with advocacy in SA in 2006, through a pivotal role in the first deadline set by Tasmania in 2007, through intense advocacy in achieving NSW and ACT deadlines, and contributions to Victorian, WA, Queensland and NT reviews. She has similarly followed through from the beginnings of the campaign to make smoking in cars carrying children smokefree to this being enacted in most jurisdictions.
During Anne’s 16 years at the helm of ASH, she has worked tirelessly on a shoestring budget and with minimal staffing (no subordinate staff for the first seven years, one for the next eight). She has contributed to numerous legislative reviews, taskforces, working parties and committees in all Australian jurisdictions.
She has helped to achieve enormous legislative reform in Australia - Federally and in all states and territories; as well as making a sizeable contribution to combating tobacco in the Asia-Pacific region and worldwide.
She has worked closely with, and often co-ordinated the efforts of, diverse groups and individuals to help achieve a common goal in politically sensitive environments.
She has a track record of advising and influencing national, state and territory governments and contributing to the development of tobacco control strategies within the region. She has raised the profile of tobacco control in media, helping to obtain extensive media coverage of tobacco and health and public interest issues and raising the profile of these issues with opinion leaders and the general public. She has presented papers at international conferences and participated as an expert in forums in China, Singapore, New Zealand and Washington.
Policy improvements that Anne and ASH have contributed to include: tobacco tax reform in 2000 and again pending in 2009; initiating government action against, and finally ending, “light” and “mild” descriptors; hard-hitting graphic warnings; smokefree totally enclosed areas of licensed venues in all but one jurisdiction; smokefree dining areas (some jurisdictions, more pending); putting tobacco out of sight in retail outlets (most jurisdictions legislated or pending); cars carrying children smokefree by law (most jurisdictions legislated or pending); a reorientation of federal health policy towards preventing diseases based on evidence; and development and Australian ratification and implementation of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.
Anne has done all this with unfailing patience, calm and positivity, and with self-effacing respect and consideration for her colleagues.
1994 to date: Chief Executive Officer, Action on Smoking and Health Australia
Implemented the ASH vision for a smokefree Australia including improved policies for:
Raising community awareness of harm caused by tobacco and benefits of quitting, Increasing government investment in tobacco control programs, Improving legislative controls to reduce illegal sales and illicit trade, Ending tobacco advertising and promotion - including getting tobacco out of sight in retail outlets, and 2010 government commitment to mandating plain packaging by mid-2012, Reforming tobacco excise duties, Ending smoky workplaces including bars, clubs and public dining areas, Ending misleading conduct by the tobacco industry, Protecting children from smoke exposure and tobacco promotion.
· SmokeFree Olympics Taskforce for Sydney 2000
· UICC’s Global Smokefree Partnership for smokefree sports policy
· The Cancer Council Australia Tobacco Issues Committee
· The National Heart Foundation Tobacco Committee
· Working Group for development of guidelines for managing nicotine dependency in health care settings
· NSW Government taskforce on Passive Smoking
· NSW Government Working group on Tobacco Action Plan
· Taskforce to reform political donations
Key role in:
· Protecting Children from Tobacco coalition
· SmokeFree Australia (workplace) coalition
Anne previously won a President’s Award from the Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand, 2004 - for concerted efforts in controlling tobacco use.