South Australia - Annual Dirty Ashtray Award..

June 1, 2009 - The Australian Medical Association's (AMA's) annual Dirty Ashtray Award for the Australian State or Territory - South Australia had the dubious distinction of receiving the award for making the least progress on combating smoking during 2008.

AMA Federal President, Dr Rosanna Capolingua, today used the eve of World No Tobacco Day to announce the results of the AMA/Australian Council on Smoking and Health (ACOSH) National Tobacco Scoreboard.

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

“It’s disappointing that South Australia is falling behind the rest of the country when it comes to tobacco control,” Dr Capolingua said. “South Australia has made no progress on point-of-sale display restrictions since inadequate laws were implemented in 2007. “Funding for tobacco control and public education is inadequate and there is still no comprehensive smoke-free policy across all South Australian health services.”

At the other end of the scale, Victoria was ranked as the best performer on the 2008 National Tobacco Control Scoreboard. “Victorian authorities deserve praise for introducing a tobacco control policy which includes a ban on point of sale tobacco displays and smoking in cars carrying children,” Dr Capolingua said. “Victoria has a strong public education strategy and good services to assist people who are trying to quit smoking.”

Dr Capolingua said she hoped the results of the National Tobacco Control Scoreboard would encourage governments to do more to combat tobacco use. “We need a complete ban on tobacco advertising and tougher laws to protect non-smokers, especially children, from second-hand smoke,” she said.

“The Federal Government should significantly increase tobacco excise beyond inflation and use the proceeds to fund public health programs,” Dr Capolingua said.

Reference: South Australia ranked worst, Victoria best in fight against tobacco, Australian Medical Associatio, 5/30/2009. - Note the 2009 AMA/ACOSH NATIONAL TOBACCO SCOREBOARD SUMMARIES appear at end of this reference.